Baseball defeats VMI, Villanova

By Chris McCree

Writer

The baseball team went 2-2 this past week during a three-game stint at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and a single-game showdown at Villanova. The team took one of three against the Keydets and managed to pull out a thrilling come-from-behind win against the Wildcats late Tuesday afternoon.

The four games featured a multitude of impressive individual performances, but none was more important than that put forward by first baseman Doug Shribman ’11, who was crowed Patriot League Player of the Week. Shribman was a key component of the Orange and Blue’s success, batting an impressive .364 over the four games and hitting three home runs to take sole possession of the program’s all-time record.

“Doug was a monster at the plate not only because of his home runs, but also because almost all of our runs came from something he did in the inning,” Ryan Ebner ’12 said.

During their first contest, the Bison’s comeback attempt fell just short as the team lost 6-5, stranding two runners on base in the ninth. Last week’s hero, Colby Vanderbeck ’14, contributed three of the team’s eight hits and Alex Cillo ’12 allowed zero runs in his three innings of relief. The one run loss represented the Bison’s fourth straight game decided by two runs or less.

The Bison continued this streak during their first game on Saturday and were able to come away with a 4-2 victory thanks in large part to impressive individual performances by Ebner and Shribman. Shribman contributed three of the team’s four runs scored including a pair of solo home runs. His first home run and 31st of his career allowed him to surpass former teammate Andrew Brouse ’09 for possession of the program’s all-time home run record. Ebner pitched an almost flawless game going seven innings and allowing just one run off of three hits.

“The second game was our best game. We had no errors and we fielded the ball very well,” Ebner said. “I was able to throw all three of my pitches for strikes and that really had them guessing.”

The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader was a completely different story as the Bison blew a three-run lead in the sixth inning, falling 7-3. Jack Boehm ’12 pitched a solid game, allowing only two earned runs through 5.1 innings, but three costly errors chased him and allowed the Keydets to plate all seven of their runs in the sixth.

“Although we lost two of three games, the weekend was a step in the right direction. VMI is always a good team and we had a chance to win all three games,” Ebner said.

The Bison finished their weekly contests with a dramatic eighth inning comeback against Villanova on Tuesday. Trailing 2-0 for the whole game, David Duffett ’12 hit a clutch two-run single in the eighth to tie the game, and a Wildcat wild pitch allowed the Orange and Blue to come away with the 3-2 victory.

With Tuesday’s victory, the Bison have now won four out of their last six games. The team will soon leave for its Florida spring training trip where it will play seven games in seven days, starting with next Sunday’s showdown against Air Force.

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