With a season comprised of only 18 games, every game has a major impact in OUA baseball. The Brock Badgers baseball team knows the importance of every game as they’ve been a strong contending team year after year. This season has been a bit strange, as the Badgers haven’t looked like the dominant force, but are still continuing to be contenders in OUA baseball.
Last season, the Badgers only had one loss in exhibition and regular season games. This season they already have five total losses, as opponents are averaging eight runs scored in those losses. Only two of the losses count towards the Badgers OUA record as they dropped two games versus Guelph University. The team was rained out this season versus York University..
“I’m not too worried about the season, I think we’ll bounce back,” said Brock head coach Jeff Lounsbury.
Before this weekend, the Badgers played weekday exhibition games versus Ontario Terriers – a baseball team that helps build collegiate opportunities in Canada and America. In the first game versus the Terriers, the Badgers won 6-1, but dropped the second one 5-2. The Badgers kept the Terriers hitless in the first game, but pitch command showed to be an issue with some of Brock’s pitchers. The one Terrier run in the first game was scored after a couple walks and a wild pitch that got passed the Badger catcher.
“A lot of those guys didn’t pitch on the weekend,” Lounsbury said about the pitchers the Badgers used versus the Terriers. For most of the pitchers the Badgers used, it had been at least a week since they had faced live batters and it showed.
The main focus for the Badgers was to get into the win column in the OUA side of things, as they headed to Queen’s University and Western University this past weekend.
“Queen’s is playing well right now, they are off to a 3-1 start, so we can’t take them lightly because the season’s so short,” said Lounsbury.
With rain in the forecast, the Saturday games began earlier than expected, but the games were completed and the Badgers left Queen’s with two wins. Queen’s dropped to 3-5 after this weekend. Brock won the first game 7-1 as starting pitcher Ryan Beckett went seven strong innings, giving up one unearned run and striking out three. The first game was a complete team effort as every Badger hitter had a hit in the game. Most notably however, Ricky Ferri went deep for a two-run shot.
In the second game, Brendan Ellingham went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks. Phil Owen’s closed the door for the Badgers as he picked up career save number 16. Ferri was again a huge bat for the Badgers as he plated two runs. The outfielder is now first in Badger history in stolen bases as he picked up career stolen base number 76 against Queen’s.
Against Western, the Badgers won the first game 6-1, getting a complete game from Dylan Perego, as he gave up one run in nine innings. A five-run seventh inning broke the game wide open for the Badgers. Then in the second game the Badgers put up six runs in the third inning that led to an 8-3 win and a weekend sweep. Jeff Baggaley gave the Badgers another strong starting performance.
The Badgers have quickly moved up in the standings with a strong weekend. They’re now 4-2 this season and only trail Guelph in the standings. This upcoming week, the Badgers will play a couple Wednesday exhibition games versus Fanshawe College at George Taylor Field, starting at 5:30 p.m. Then the team will host Laurier and Ryerson at George Taylor Field this coming Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 p.m.