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The Blue & Gray Press | September 24, 2018

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Baseball almost sweeps Frostburg

By STEPHEN CAMPBELL

The University of Mary Washington baseball team went 2-1 this weekend against Frostburg State. The Eagles clenched game one, 6-5, and won a high-scoring game two, 9-7, but narrowly lost, 2-3, in game three on Sunday. The team is 5-1 in the conference now.

Head Coach Wayne Riser was critical but optimistic after Sunday’s loss.

“Overall, it was a good weekend for us,” Riser said. “We took two out of three games. Today we just shot ourselves in the foot offensively.”

Riser also spoke of missed opportunities for the Eagles’ batters. “We didn’t get a couple of bunts down, and we gave some outs up that made it tough for us,” said Riser.

Despite Riser’s criticism of the team, the Eagles gave their best effort through the sixth inning, keeping the score at 0-0.

The first six innings were all about the pitchers; UMW starter Torey Mancari had five perfect innings and six strikeouts. Things heated up in the top of the seventh, however, when Frostburg scored on two RBIs in three hits.

The Eagles’ batters stepped up to rebut in the bottom of the seventh but were shut down. Sophomore catcher Jono Haught popped it out at shortstop, sophomore infielder Kevin Stein grounded out to second base and sophomore outfielder T.J. Cretney lined out to left field. None of them made it home for a run.

Frostburg scored once more on an RBI in the eighth inning and then hit a fly, which resulted in an out. UMW momentarily ended its opponent’s threatening position with runners on second and third base.

The Eagles took the plate again in the eighth, down 0-3 and needing a score. Freshman infielder Cam Kostyack advanced to first after being hit by the pitch. Sophomore infielder Alex Bryant singled to center field, and Kostyack advanced to second. Truslow laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bryant to second and Kostyack to third.

With runners in scoring position, sophomore outfielder Brendan Jones singled to left field, scoring Kostyack on the RBI and advancing Bryant to third. Senior infielder Seth Jordan flew out to centerfield, and the eighth inning ended with the Eagles trailing by two.

Frostburg didn’t score at the top of the ninth, with a fly caught and two strikeouts, allowing the Eagles to take the plate at the bottom of the inning.

Cretney reached first base on a fielder’s choice, with two outs. Kostyack singled to second base, and Cretney advanced to second. Bryant singled to left field, Cretney scored on the RBI and Kostyack advanced to second. Freshman outfielder James Sink fouled out to first, ending the Eagles’ hopes of tying it for extra innings.

Riser described the Eagles’ prospects in the coming games. “We’re never out of it, we’ve always got a chance,” Riser said. “We’re developing an attitude and starting to learn how to play better baseball.”

The Eagles will begin conference play on Friday, March 29, when they host Wesley College. The Capital Athletic Conference rivals will continue battle the next day, as UMW will host a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30, starting at 1 p.m.