Baseball opens season going 2-2

Anslee Krouch, Contributing Writer

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The men’s baseball team had an exciting weekend as it opened its season with a two-two split against James Madison in the four game season opening series. Third baseman Sam Clark ’17 hit his first career home run, and Joe Ogren ’16 and Mike Korchak ’18 both drove in runs on fly balls. Despite these strong batting performances, the Bison started with a tough loss in their first game on Feb. 19, losing 3-9.

The Bison split a double header on Feb. 20 in a see-saw afternoon against the Dukes. They won the first game 4-2 after strong pitching by Dan Keller ’16 and Danny Rafferty ’17. Rafferty and Ogren had timely hitting in the seventh inning to break a two-two tied game.

In the second game, James Madison came back and tied the score with a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Rafferty came into the game to pitch in the ninth inning and proceeded to pitch a scoreless 10th and 11th inning. However, the opponent secured the victory in the bottom of the 12th when a JMU player singled two home runs to win the game. With five hits in both games, Brett Smith ’17 was an impactful player during the Feb. 20 game. Ogren also played well as he had three hits in the second game, including a home run that gave the Bison a short-lived one-run lead.

After a 90-minute rain delay, the Bison finished the series with a dominant win on Feb. 21, trouncing the Dukes 9-1. Pitcher Connor Van Hoose ’18 only allowed three hits and one run in seven innings in a strong performance. Christian Tailor ’19 and Jack Grabek ’19 followed Van Hoose in the eighth and ninth innings to shut down the opposition. The Dukes did not have a single hit after the second inning and no base runners after the third. The Bison broke the game open in the sixth inning when eight hitters were sent to the plate and scored four runs.

“Winning game four on Sunday after a tough loss the night before shows the mental toughness of our team,” Ogren said when asked about the team’s performance.

The Bison are not letting their two losses bother them.

It was a great weekend for our team. We came together and every single player had an impact. Even though we finished two-two, we feel like we dominated the weekend and are very excited to continue on and get ready for Patriot League play,” Van Hoose said.

Next up for the Bison is a three-game series at Tennessee Tech on Feb. 26-28.

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