Baseball clinch three victories against Niagara

Jen Lee, Writer

 The baseball team won three of its four-game series against Niagara from March 1-2 in Petersburg, Va.

Coming off its first win of the season, the baseball team kept its momentum going by sweeping the Saturday double-header against Niagara. In game one, the Bison fell behind after yielding two runs in the first inning and only managed one hit over the first five frames. The Orange and Blue offense finally broke through with four sixth-inning runs, highlighted by Corey Furman’s ’14 RBI triple to tie the score and Joe Ogren’s ’16 RBI single to put the Bison ahead. Pitcher Bryson Hough ’15 went six strong innings, allowing only two hits and recording seven strikeouts, while Tucker Rekucki ’15 recorded a perfect seventh inning to secure the 4-2 win.

Game two starter Dan Weigel ’14 proved just as resilient, going 6.1 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and recording four strikeouts. Weigel was denied the win, however, as he left the game with the Bison trailing 2-1. As in game one, the Bison offense exploded in the bottom of the sixth for five runs, highlighted by a grand slam from Rob Krentzman ’15, and added three more in the ninth to break the game open. Ogren and Sam Clark ’17 finished the game with three hits and two RBI apiece, while Tom Hrabchak ’14 and Mike Castellani ’17 combined for 2.2 shutdown innings in relief.

Game three proved to be a pitcher’s duel, with Andrew Andreychik ’16 going five innings and allowing only two runs, while Hrabchak pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning. The Bison scored a run in the fourth on a wild pitch, but despite having the bases loaded on three walks in the bottom of the fifth, the Bison were unable to drive in another run. Niagara would eventually score once in the second and fifth innings to secure a 2-1 victory,

Game four featured higher scoring, with the Orange and Blue eventually outlasting their opponent. Starting pitcher Xavier Hammond ’15 pitched five innings in the second game, allowing five runs on six hits with three strikeouts. The teams were evenly matched throughout the game, with a 1-1 score after the first inning, 3-3 after the third, and 5-5 after the fourth. Anthony Gingerelli ’15 recorded a leadoff single in the sixth that started a rally for the Bison. Furman drove Gingerelli in to score the winning run with a two-out double to center, giving Furman his second RBI of the day. Relief pitchers Max Kra ’16, Castellani, and Rekucki were able to hold on to the slim lead for the 6-5 victory, with Kra and Castellani pitching scoreless innings before Rekucki struck out the side in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

The Bison hope to carry this momentum into their next game, where they will face Illinois State during their trip to Florida for the Russ Matt Invitational beginning on March 9.

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