Donato ’12 sparks baseball to first win

By Chris McCree

Writer

The baseball team claimed its first victories of the year against the University of Richmond last weekend in Virginia. The Bison lost their first game 4-2 but won their next two 5-3 and 4-3 in a series that marked a stark contrast from the team’s previous series against James Madison University.

“I felt that our team played very well this weekend,” David Duffett ’12 said.  “It was important for us to come back from last weekend and put together a couple good wins. We combined a few quality starts from our pitching staff with a good offensive effort from our position players.”

The series started off with a 4-2 loss for the Bison as their comeback efforts in the ninth inning fell just short. After loading the bases with one out, Richmond pitcher Jacob Mayers was able to induce a game-ending double play and seal the win for the Spiders. Outfielder Matt Lamore ’12 was the Bison’s primary offensive threat for the game, going three-for-four and falling just a triple short of the cycle.

After losing their fifth straight, the Orange and Blue won their first game of the year the following day. The game featured an effective combination of hitting and pitching as the team registered 11 hits and allowed just three runs on the day. Jack Boehm ’12 pitched the final five innings of the game and didn’t allow a single run in the 5-3 victory.

The climax of the trip came during Sunday’s match. Colby Vanderbeck ’14 sent the Bison home dramatically as he hit a solo home run to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth. The Bison held on for the 4-3 victory as relief pitcher Steve Carlin ’11 was credited with the win after retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth. Doug Shribman ’11 and Bob Donato ’12 each hit home runs of their own, contributing to the other three runs scored by the Bison offense. Shribman’s homer was the thirtieth of his career, which places him at a tie for the most in team history.

Considerable improvements by the Bison pitching staff were the primary reason for the team’s success this weekend.

“As a staff, we felt like we had a lot to prove after last weekend, and we stepped up to the challenge. We had three solid starts on the mound, and our bullpen kept us in every game,” Carlin said.

Coming off a series in which they surrendered 91 runs in four games, the Orange and Blue pitchers strung together three quality starts and recorded a team ERA of 2.42 over the series.

The Orange and Blue now set their sights on next weekend’s opponent, Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Hoping to build on this weekend’s success, the team will travel to Virginia for a four-game series against the Keydets.

“Richmond was a big test for us as a team, especially after a disappointing opening weekend against James Madison. Overall, we really responded well and showed a little glimpse of what we are capable of.  We hope to keep this momentum going into next weekend at VMI,” Carlin said.

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