By MICHAEL HARVEY
The University of Mary Washington’s baseball team picked up two big victories this past Sunday over visiting Albright College in Reading Pa.. The wins brought the Eagles back to the .500 mark with a 3-3-1 record.
In game one, the combined pitching efforts of junior Mike Straub and sophomore Jake Black propelled the Eagles to a 3-0 shutout victory. Straub threw six stellar innings, allowing just two hits while retiring eight batters. Black finished out the game strong and picked up the save.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by junior designated hitter Seth Jordan’s 2-3 performance at the plate and senior second baseman Shane Sixsmith’s two runs scored.
In game two, Mary Washington’s pitching remained solid while their offense ignited, finishing off the doubleheader with a score of 9-3. Senior Matt Abramson started and allowed just two hits for his first win of the season.
The Eagles could have afforded to give up a couple more runs with the performance they put on in the batter’s box. They hit .455 as a team and had three players get at least three hits. Jordan led the way with three hits and four RBI’s while senior Brent Steffey and sophomore Kevin Yarnell combined to go 7-7 from the plate. The offensive showcase displayed this Sunday had been what the Eagles were missing so far this season. They had scored just one run total in the previous three games.
Sophomore second-basemen Chris Russo believes the offensive struggles will fade as the season progresses.
“I think the season has just been getting underway so hitters in general have had problems seeing the ball because we haven’t faced live pitching in a couple of months,” he said. “I think as time moves on, everyone on the team will start seeing the ball better and figuring out their swing.” Abramson agreed with his infielder and added that the offense should stay hot.
“Our offense worked really hard all week during practice and that translated for us on the field,” he said. “If we keep working hard in practice and stay relaxed when it comes game-time, then we’ll be playing how we know we’re capable of.”
Even if the offense cools down again, Mary Washington believes their defense is strong enough to keep winning.
Russo said, “Our pitching is unbelievable and our defense is right up there with the pitching,” which will likely keep the Eagles in games, even if they are struggling offensively.
Mary Washington hopes to be clicking on all cylinders for their next contests on Saturday, March 3, when they will participate in the first conference games of the season, facing-off against Frostburg State University in another double-header.