Following a 3-0 start, the men’s baseball team took a step back this weekend after dropping three straight games to the seventeenth ranked University of Virginia Cavaliers.
On Friday afternoon, UVA exploded offensively and defeated the Hawks in blowout fashion 18-4. The game was delayed an hour and 12 minutes due to rain, but once it cleared up the Hawks opened the game scoring two runs right off the bat.
Josh Boyd opened the game with a triple, who was then driven home thanks to a double by Jamie Rosenkranz. Jake Gronsky singled up the middle in the next at bat to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. UVA would rally in the bottom half of the inning, tying the score at two. The following inning the Cavaliers would take the lead after a sacrifice fly and they would not look back.
In the bottom of the third, the Cavaliers exploded for five runs off a Hawk error, a hit batsman, and a bases loaded double making the score 7-2. UVA would put the game out of reach in the sixth when they scored nine runs on seven hits, extending the lead to 16-2. UVA would add two more runs bringing the final score to 18-2 in favor of the Cavaliers.
Pat Light dropped to 1-1 after pitching five innings and giving up five runs. Neil Harm, Reid Van Woert, Charlie Battis and T.J. Hunt all saw action out of the bullpen for the Hawks.
On Saturday, the Hawks had much better pitching performances, but unfortunately the Hawks would fall to UVA for a second straight game.
The game remained scoreless until the third inning when UVA broke through with three runs on three hits behind another costly error by the Hawks. The Hawks would answer in the bottom of the fourth, when Rosenkranz reached on a base hit and later came around to score thanks to a double by Owen Stewart, which made the score 3-1.
The Cavaliers would add one more run in the bottom half of the inning and would add three more in the seventh inning and that where the score would stand as the Hawks fell 7-1.
Dan Smith, who picked up his first loss of the season, pitched five innings, giving up six runs on seven hits. John McDonald worked an inning out of the bullpen, striking out two batters, while Joe Loiodice and Adam Yunginger also came out of the bullpen, and each worked a 1-2-3 inning in relief.
The Hawks came into Sunday’s match-up looking to walk away with at least one win against a ranked opponent, but unfortunately the Cavaliers completed the sweep in a decisive fashion.
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the first three innings, but in the bottom of the fourth inning UVA jumped out to a 2-0 lead after an RBI double by Brandon Downes and a safety squeeze set up by Keith Werman.
In the following two innings, UVA would score seven runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth, which made the score 12-0 in favor of the Cavaliers.
The Hawks scored their lone run in the seventh inning when Boyd knocked in Craig Sweeney on an RBI single. UVA would later extend their lead to 13-1, and that’s the way it would remain as the Hawks dropped their third straight game to the Cavaliers.
Andrew Mcgee pitched four and two thirds innings in his first career start. He allowed seven runs on eight hits. Stephen Frey, Jonathan Shippee, Stephen Prosapio, and Jeff Paglione all pitched in relief for the Hawks.
Following this weekend’s games, Boyd leads the team in batting average as he is hitting .370; Stewart and Gronsky are tied with seven RBIs. Pitching wise, Light continues to lead the way even though he lost this weekend. Light is 1-1 with 4.50 ERA with seven strikeouts.
The Hawks look to find their winning touch once again when they travel back down to Virginia again to take on Virginia Commonwealth in a three game weekend series in Richmond.
PHOTO COURTESY of MU Athletics