By STEVE SILVERTHORNE
The Eagles won big in a non-conference matchup this past Monday, April 4, against the Bridgewater College Eagles. The two teams met a week before Saturday’s bout, and Bridgewater was victorious as they edged UMW 5-3. However, in this past Monday’s game, Mary Washington not only avenged the earlier defeat, but demolished Bridgewater in the process.
Through a well-balanced attack of great pitching and superior hitting, the Eagles were able to capture an impressive win against a tough Bridgewater squad.
“Ben [Sisk] pitched a great game for us and we were able to score, and hopefully we can continue this balanced attack for the rest of the season and then into the playoffs,” junior pitcher Ryan Engelking said.
UMW made a statement early, as the offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a commanding lead. All of the runs came on an extended two-out rally, and was highlighted by a two-RBI single by junior third baseman Santino Rosanova, and freshman pitcher Ben Sisk’s electrifying steal of home.
Mary Washington’s offense continued to churn out runs, as they scored in each of the next four innings to push their lead to 11-1. Junior Brent Steffey led the Eagles offensive onslaught, finishing the contest with game-highs in hits (three), runs (two) and RBI (three).
Steffey was not the only UMW player to have a good day at the plate, as the host Eagles tallied 19 hits in the blow out win. Mary Washington scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted, 10 different players recorded a hit and six of those players had multi-hit games. Rosanova (three hits and two RBI) and second baseman Eric Rehbein (three hits and two runs) were two more of the impressive UMW hitting performances.
The Mary Washington pitching was just as sensational as their hitting, as three pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter. Sisk pitched seven innings for Mary Washington to win his first career collegiate start. Sisk allowed one unearned run on one hit and four walks, and he struck out four in his outing. Fellow freshmen Beattie Southerland and Nick McGovern each came in for their first pitching appearances of the season, and neither gave up a hit in their collegiate debuts.
Even though they won in convincing fashion, the Eagles are still not satisfied.
“It was a good win for us, but we are going to need to play even better if we are going to make it far into the postseason,” senior Jackson Clement said.
The Eagles recently dropped from the national top-25 rankings, but there are still high hopes for what remains of the season. The Bridgewater victory improved UMW to 18-11 overall on the season, while their Capital Athletic Conference mark remained unchanged at 7-8. Mary Washington currently sits in fifth place among the seven teams in the conference standings, but are just 0.5 game back of third.
UMW returned to action yesterday, April 6, in a non-conference matchup at Catholic University, but the game ended too late for the results to be included in this issue. The Eagles will wrap up their regular season this weekend with three key conference games against second-place Frostburg State. The first will be a home game today, April 7, at 3:30 p.m., and the last two will take place Sunday, April 9, starting at 1 p.m.