By STEPHEN CAMPBELL
The University of Mary Washington baseball team played a series with Wesley College this past weekend, winning two out of three games to become 7-2 in the conference, 16-10 overall.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel until the last inning, with senior pitcher Mike Straub pitching a complete game shutout (three hits allowed), until freshman Connor Lilley scored the game winner in the bottom of the ninth, making it 1-0.
Game two looked good until the fourth inning, with the Eagles up 4-1. However, they gave up too many points in the latter innings, ending 6-4 in Wesley’s favor.
The Eagles came back with a vengeance in game three, taking an early lead and clobbering Wesley 6-1.
Head Coach Wayne Riser had high praise for his veteran pitcher following game one. “Ninety percent of this game’s win goes to Mike Straub,” Riser said. “Pitching nine innings straight was a heck of an effort that basically won us the game, and that’s a significant win.”
Wesley had men in scoring position in the third, sixth and ninth innings, but the Eagles held strong on defense, not giving up a single run.
The first game ended dramatically at the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded: a freshman Cam Kostyack on third, another freshman James Sink on second, and sophomore Alex Bryant having walked to first.
Lilley’s second hit of the game clenched the win for the Eagles, sending the ball fast and low up the middle and bringing Kostyack home.
Game two opened Saturday’s doubleheader with a strong lead for the Eagles, but they faltered after midgame. Runs from sophomore catcher Jono Haught in the first inning, sophomore outfielder T.J. Cretney in the second inning. A double by Sink garnered runs by Cretney and Kostyack in the third.
The Eagles also gave up one run in the third, and two more by Wesley in the fourth narrowed the score to 4-3. The Eagles were scoreless for the remainder, while a run in the seventh and two runs in the ninth earned Wesley the win, 6-4. Heading into game three, the Eagles buckled down, determined to finish strong.
The nightcap began much like the previous game, with the Eagles up 5-0 after three innings. Lilley scored on an RBI by Kostyack in the first. A big second inning had RBIs from Sink, Stein and Jones, and Cretney scored a run in the third.
A final run from Steve Perone in the fifth essentially finished the game, and a single run by Wesley in the seventh didn’t stop the game from ending that inning.
Riser attributed the Eagle’s victory to their “errorless defense.”
Looking forward, Riser said, “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, because that’s what’s been successful.”