By JONATHAN WIGGINTON
Until the sixth inning, the Mary Washington Eagles were in cruise control, leading 4-0 against visiting Catholic University. Starting pitcher Zach Hendrix had pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only four hits. Then the wheels fell off.
The Catholic University Cardinals started off the sixth inning with a walk, a recurring theme throughout the game as the two teams combined for 16 walks. After a single that pushed the runner to third, Hendrix was relieved by freshman John Miscioscia. Unfortunately, Miscioscia could not find his groove, and allowed three runs after giving up two hits and a walk.
Freshman Jeff Brill was brought in to salvage the now dwindling lead. Catholic delivered the backbreaker with a three-run triple off the bat of Robbie O’Brien, who finished the day with three hits. O’Brien quickly scored on a wild pitch that ricocheted over the backstop, alarming fans who thought they were protected by the large structure.
“I was ready for the inning to be over, I just wanted an out,” left fielder Frankie Sheffield said. Thankfully, that out came with a lazy fly-ball to center fielder Riley Gorman.”
“It’s a part of baseball and we had to battle back,” said senior Jon Sims.
The Eagles did just that, answering the visiting team’s inning with a one-run inning of their own, edging the score to 7-5. Brill settled down, allowing only two more hits, while striking out four Catholic players.
No runs were scored until the bottom of the ninth inning when sophomore Will Wright reached base on an errant throw that pulled the first basemen off the bag. Wright slid safely into first, starting off the inning with a bang.
Sheffield reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Wright out at second. Catcher Nick Espinosa was able to draw a walk, and the Eagles were able to get a runner into scoring position with just one out.
Sims advanced to first on a walk, the third walk of the day for him. With the bases loaded, Seamus Bergen came up to bat.
A sharply hit liner excited the crowd because if it had been fair, it would have cleared the bases, and ensured an Eagles’ victory.
However, it was just foul. Bergen did however knock in a run on a fielder’s choice, scoring Sheffield from third.
Unfortunately, the Eagles’ rally ended with the next batter, Gorman, who grounded out to second.
“[Catholic is a] scrappy team, and if you don’t play well, they’ll beat you,” Coach Tom Sheridan said
The final score of the game meant a loss to for Mary Washington, falling to the Catholic 7-6. The Eagles, now with a record of 16-5, travel to Bridgewater College on Thursday. Their next home game is March 30 against St. Mary’s College.