By: John Mignelli – The Brock Press
The Brock Badgers men’s baseball team (7-2, OUA) continued their recent trend of stellar pitching and solid defence with a 6-4 win over the Western Mustangs (3-3, OUA) on Sept. 12 at George Taylor Field.
With recent performances of Paul McKenna’s (Oakville, Ont) one-hitter against Waterloo and Daniel Veres’ (Burlington, Ont) no-hitter the game before that, this game was very meaningful for the Badgers as it was the first time they faced former captain and standout catcher Cam Graham (Sarnia, Ont).
Before the game, Brock head coach Jeff Lounsbury had kind words to say about Graham.
“He was a captain here, but we’re glad he’s playing, you only have one university career. He’s doing his graduate studies and we’re all happy for him.”
Graham however, was unable to get the better of starting pitcher Luke Miller (Newmarket, Ont), who despite giving up a pair of run-scoring doubles in the first inning, sailed through his next four innings without allowing any further damage.
The Mustangs took a surprising early lead in the first inning when Nolan Anderson (London, Ont) hit an RBI double to left field. Anderson was then plated by Mitch Grossell (Edmonton, AB), who himself hit an RBI double as well.
In the bottom half of the inning, Badger leadoff hitter Phil Steer (Toronto, Ont) found himself at second base thanks to an error by shortstop Tommy-Lee McDonald (Pickering, Ont). Steer moved to third on a bunt by Chris Anderi (Tecumseh, Ont) and was scored when Ricky Ferri (St. Catharines, Ont) reached second because of an identical error by McDonald, which made the score 2-1 in favour of Western.
Brock would tie the game shortly after, when Steer’s RBI ground out brought home Will Nicholson (Burlington, Ont) who had reached base on a walk. Nicholson moved to second on a base hit by Tim Lawson (Oakville, Ont.) and made it to third because of a perfect bunt by Justin Gideon (Pickering, Ont).
Comforted by his team rallying behind him, Miller gave up no runs in his next four innings, which saw him get out of a bases-loaded situation in the third, as well as a fourth inning in which he systematically worked two ground outs and a fly-out with only seven pitches.
After trailing by a run in the sixth, the Badgers were able to do what good baseball teams do and constructed a run when Gideon made it to first on an error by Weisz. Gideon moved to second on a fielder’s choice by Steer, stole third, and was scored on a sacrifice fly by Anderi, tying the game.
Finally in the eighth, the Badgers closed the door when Ferri belted a two-run double, cashing in Gideon and Anderi, who reached base by a single and a fielder’s choice respectively.
Phil Owen (Richmond Hill, Ont) was called from the bullpen to start the ninth and pitched a perfect inning, capping off an errorless victory. This victory propelled the Badgers to their fifth straight OUA win, continuing their perfect league record.
The Badgers next home game takes place on Sept. 17 against Queens University at 7:00 p.m. A pre-party for Baseball Hype Night starts at Isaac’s at 5:30 p.m. Free transportation to the game will also take place from Isaac’s at 6:45 p.m., so don’t miss out.