Baseball concludes VMI best-of-three series with a victory

Mike Caruso, Contributing Writer

The Orange and Blue traveled to Lexington, Va. for a three-game series against the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) from Feb. 24–26, winning one of three against the Keydets. Jeff Gottesman ’19 led the Bison to their final-game win, pitching a career-high seven innings, and only giving up two hits to go along with his eight strikeouts.

The Bison kicked off the series with a 6-1 loss to VMI, posting five hits in the contest. Connor Van Hoose ’18 got a start as a pitcher and led the team for six innings, striking out eight batters but giving up four runs. His season record dropped to 0-2 with the loss. Mike Stephens ’18, Matt Shobe ’20, and Tommy Gambon ’17 came in as relief to close out the final 2.2 innings for the Bison.

Danny Rafferty ’17 had an impressive offensive showing in the contest with two doubles and an RBI. He currently has a batting average of .545, and has now managed to get on base for the first four games this season.

The Bison posted a second loss to VMI on Feb. 25 with a final score of 10-2. VMI looked strong offensively, as they managed to get 10 runs off of 13 hits. Mike Castellani ’17 got the start for the Orange and Blue on the mound, but was relieved two outs into the fourth inning once the Bison trailed 7-1. Jack Simpson ’20 and P.J. Strahm ’19 came in to close out the game for the final 4.1 innings. Evan Klugerman ’19 led the team in hits, going 2-for-3. Klugerman was one of five players to record a hit in the second game.

The Bison then finished the series off in dominant fashion with a 4-0 win behind stellar play from Gottesman. He looked very comfortable on the mound, trusting Bison defense in order to make plays behind him. Gottesman now has a .75 ERA on the season.

“Composure was definitely one of the keys to getting me through seven [innings]. But a lot of that composure came from my faith in the defense behind me. They picked me up and I picked them up; overall a good team win,” Gottesman said.

The Bison put up their strongest offensive performance on Feb. 26 to close out the three-game series. The team’s first four hits led to two RBIs and two runs to put the Bison in an early lead. Klugerman had another strong day at bat with support from JohnPaul Bell ’20 and Sam Clark ’17, who were able to each get on base and score a run for the team.

The Bison travel to North Carolina to play three games at Davidson March 3–5.

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