Baseball unable to grab first win despite close contests

Justin Schaumberger, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison baseball team kicked off their season with three losses this past weekend. The first game was against Mount St. Mary’s, in which the Orange and Blue fell 3-2 after extra innings. The Orange and Blue followed that up with another pair of losses against LaSalle  with scores of 7-0 and 5-4 respectively.

In the first game of the season, the Bison pitching was fantastic. Starter Tyler Rigot ’23 went four scoreless innings while only giving up two hits and striking out three. Rigot was relieved by Nicholas Sadd ’21 who worked out of a jam in the fifth and Chris Difiore ’23 who struck out seven batters in 3.1 innings of work. The Bison managed to grab the lead in the top of the 10th when Henry Novicki ’23 crushed a two-run home run, scoring Chris Cannizzaro ’22, who started on second base owing to COVID extra inning rules. Unfortunately for the Orange and Blue, the Mountaineers were able to score three runs in the bottom of the 10th to ultimately win the game.

The Bison struggled in their first home game of the season, only managing one hit during a 7-0 loss to LaSalle. Cannizzaro hit a triple in the bottom of the first inning, but ultimately was stranded on base. The Bison pitching was relatively strong again outside of the fifth inning in which LaSalle scored all seven runs. Bryce Reimer ’24 was able to make his collegiate debut out of the bullpen tossing 2.2 innings of 1 run ball.

In the second game of the weekend against LaSalle, the Bison were able to bounce back, but ultimately lost with a final score of 5-4. Starter Will Grier ’23 had another strong start – pitching five innings, striking out five batters and giving up two runs (both unearned). The Orange and Blue’s bats woke up as the team managed 11 hits in the entire contest.  Pete Marren ’21 knocked in the Bison’s first run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning, scoring Jacob Corson ’24. Eunsang Yu ’23 followed that up by singling later in the inning to score Cannizzaro and Novicki, giving the Bison a 3-2 lead. The Bison had a chance to win the game with runners on base down 5-4 in the ninth, but ultimately fell short.

“It is crucial for us to get off to a hot start this weekend against Navy. It is a long season and we get the opportunity to play both Navy and Lehigh nine times this year. Having a strong opening weekend will give the team confidence and set the tone for the rest of the season,” Cannizzaro said. “We have worked extremely hard since August for the opportunity to play baseball this season, and starting off conference play on the right foot is essential.”

The Bison will play Navy in a three game series this coming weekend which will also serve as the team’s Patriot League opener. The first two games will be played at Navy on Saturday, March 13 at 1 and 3:30 p.m. The final game of the series will be on Sunday March 14 at 1 p.m. at Depew Field in Lewisburg.

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