Baseball Splits Four-Game Series with Gators

Spencer Conley

The baseball team was forced to settle for a split in their four-game series against the visiting Allegheny College Gators last weekend. The Yeomen took the first two games on Saturday, winning 5–4 and 10–5, but they failed to show up Sunday, losing 2–6 and 5–11.

The Yeomen came out with a purpose on Saturday, looking to score big against a team they haven’t typically played well against. The Yeomen found themselves in a 3–3 dogfight in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Robin Witjes came through with a crucial hit to bring home sophomore Jeffery Schweighoffer, followed by an RBI from sophomore Ryan Bliss and another run sparked by a fielder’s choice from sophomore Mitch Novak.

But the Gators bats came alive, coming up with an offensive rally of their own that sent the game into the 10th inning. With two outs and a runner on base, junior Kevin Verne came up to the plate and nailed a grounder to the right side that the first baseman couldn’t handle, bringing home the game-winning run.

“We squandered other opportunities to win the first game, but this win gave us great momentum that carried over into the second game,” said Head Coach Adrian Abrahamowicz.

The Yeomen, with their newfound sense of purpose after the first win against the Gators, came to compete under the lights Saturday night. In the second inning, first-year catcher Colin Brown was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing in one run, followed by two RBIs from both Witjes and Novak. An RBI by sophomore Daniel Baldocchi in the third inning gave the Yeomen a healthy 4–0 lead. First-year pitcher Harrison Wollman maintained composure as the Yeomen kept the lead by a score of 4–2. The Yeomen then secured the win in the sixth, as the entire lineup rallied and sent 10 men to the plate, knocking in five more runs to end the Gators’ hopes of a comeback.

“We knew we were going to have to play hard to beat them, and we did just that and walked away from this weekend with a couple of wins,” said sophomore Andrew Hutson, a key force in all four games.

But on day two the Yeomen lost their steam and came short of a victory.

“We hit the ball hard, fielded well, threw strikes, [but we] just didn’t catch all the breaks on Sunday,” said Hutson.

In game one of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Yeomen scored early in the bottom of the first as Schweighoffer hit a long fly ball to bring home Novak. By the fifth inning, however, the Gators rallied back with a streak of four straight singles off of senior pitcher Eric Knight, giving them a 1–5 lead.

The Gators played shutdown defense for the remainder of the game and held on for their first win of the weekend.

Game two proved to be a difficult game for the Yeomen after the Gators were able to bring two runs home in the second inning and five in the fourth. In the fifth, Hutson hit a deep home run in to left center field to contest the Gators. Hutson’s longball was to no avail, as the Yeomen could not generate any more runs and the game ended in the ninth on a double play for the Yeomen.

After splitting a series this Wednesday against Case Western Reserve, losing 5–8 and then turning around to win 2–5, the Yeomen have high hopes for the series this weekend at the College of Wooster and the rest of the season to come. “We are going to make some noise in the playoffs this year,” said Hutson.