Eric Dowdall – Staff Writer
On a day highlighted by the addition of two new members to the Brock Baseball Hall of Fame, the Brock Badgers (9-3, OUA) beat the Laurier Golden Hawks (5-3, OUA) 13-2 in the first of two games on the day.
Clean-up hitter Nick Anton (Brampton, Ontario) salvaged an otherwise forgettable day at the plate when he finished off the game with a three-run home run over the right field foul pole. Starting pitcher Paul McKenna (Oakville, Ontario) also pitched well in the outing, which was a major key to their success.
The afternoon began on a sentimental note, as two new inductees were added to the hall of fame. Former player and captain Mike Walker was inducted first, followed by former member of the coaching staff, Wayne Briggs-Jude. Walker goes in with the eighth most hits all time for the Badgers, and was a three-time Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star. Briggs-Jude had been with the program since it’s inception, recently retiring and moving on from the team. Both inductions were met with cheers from the fans, and both men now can see their names hanging on banners in the outfield.
The on-field action began with a bang, as both teams scored in the first inning. Laurier turned a leadoff double into a run following an infield single, while Brock would do them two better in the bottom half. Each of the first three batters would reach base, with Anton cashing in the first run on a double play to the infield. Ben Kirby (Burlington, Ontario) and Jordan Grant (Mississauga, Ontario) added RBI singles to increase the lead to 3-1 after one inning.
McKenna would sit down the side in order to begin the second, including two strikeouts. Brock then added two more in the bottom half, including an RBI double by Chris Anderi (Tecumseh, Ontario) and an RBI single from lead-off hitter Phil Steer (Toronto, Ontario). The inning concluded when Anton hit into another double play on a nice catch by Golden Hawks pitcher Jordan Petruska (Lorne Park, Ontario) followed by a throw to third.
A scoreless third inning followed, including strikeouts from both pitchers, and McKenna proceeded to pitch a scoreless top half in the fourth as well. Steer proceeded to notch his third hit of the game in the bottom half, and was cashed in by Ricky Ferri (St. Catharines, Ontario).
The Golden Hawks would cut the deficit to four in the top half, before a Badgers onslaught in the bottom half would seal the game. Some erratic pitching from the Laurier bullpen loaded the bases for the Badgers, who would capitalize. Two RBI singles, a bases-loaded HBP (hit by pitch), and a fielders choice would make it 10-2 and set the stage for Anton to salvage his afternoon. Anton took a Gregory Greenberg (Richmond Hill, Ontario) pitch over the right field wall, a towering shot that ended the game at 13-2.
On a day when some former members were honoured by their induction into the Hall of Fame, the current team did their part to honour them on the field as well.
The Badgers unfortunately would lose the second game of the double-header to the Golden Hawks by a score of 1-0. Jonathon Brouse (Port Perry, Ont) would get the only run of the night as an error by the Brock shortstop sent him home.
The Badgers will play their next home game on Sept. 25 when the Guelph Gryphons visits George Taylor Field. First pitch starts at 7:00 p.m.