By JOE CLAYTON
The pitching staff for the University of Mary Washington baseball team threw a no-hitter in a 5-0 win in game one of their doubleheader against Penn State-Altoona on Sunday, Feb. 24 at V. Earl Dickinson Stadium. The Eagles went on to win game two, 8-1, improving to 5-2 on the year.
When asked about what aspects of the game were particularly strong on Sunday, head coach Wayne Riser said, “Our pitching and defense has been our strength to this point. If they can remain consistently good and we can improve offensively, we can be competitive.”
The pitching and defense on the afternoon were strong, as the Eagles only allowed one run. Senior lefty Torey Mancari started the day off right with five no-hit innings in which he allowed just three base runners and struck out a season-high 10 batters. Junior relievers Chris Somerville and Jake Black closed out the game by each throwing one hitless inning.
Offensively, the Eagles started hot, scoring twice in each of the first two innings. Sophomore infielder Chris King led off with a walk, advancing to third on a single by sophomore outfielder Brendan Jones. King scored on a successful double steal, and sophomore catcher Jono Haught followed that with a double to drive in Jones.
The second inning began like the first, with a walk to sophomore infielder Alex Bryant. King laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Bryant into scoring position. Jones followed with another single, moving Bryant to third.
A wild pitch scored Bryant and moved Jones to second. Haught came through again with a single, scoring Jones to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead. Senior infielder Chad Anglin scored the final run of the game for the Eagles in the fifth inning.
In the second leg of the double-header, senior right-handed pitcher Mike Straub and two freshman relievers combined to hold Penn State-Altoona to one run.
When asked about the pitching performance on Sunday, Riser said, “both Mancari and Straub had good starts. Both are very talented and have continued to apply the plan that has been presented to them.”
Straub, like Mancari, went five strong innings, striking out six and allowing just one run. Freshmen David Phillips and Bernard Mayflower closed the game out with a perfect inning each.
Scoring in the second game came in bunches. The scoring began in the second inning, with the Eagles trailing 0-1. Freshman infielder Steve Ruggiere and junior T.J. Cretney scored; Ruggiere on a passed ball, and Cretney on a wild pitch.
In the third, UMW added three runs. Haught, who drove in a pair of runs in the early game, continued his hot play with another two RBIs. Cretney came through with a double to give the Eagles a lead of 5-1.
The lead completed, ballooning in the sixth, as Bryant had an RBI single and scored a run in the inning. He was accompanied by Jones when he scored, helping stretch the lead to 8-1.
With strong pitching and solid defensive play, the Eagles improved to 5-2 on the year. Inclement weather has forced the cancellation of the Eagles’ Tuesday match-up with Washington and Lee University. The team failed to keep up the momentum gained from a successful sweep when it lost to Bridgewater College, 11-0, at home on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.