Even with longtime former head coach gone and Marc LePage now replacing the head coach position, it appears as if the Men’s Baseball team is still playing to their same level of high athleticism as the Badgers played two doubleheader games this past week and only walked away with one loss.
This past Saturday the baseball team opened the 2016 OUA regular season with two victories over the Queen’s Gaels at George Taylor Field. The Badgers won game one by the score of 8-4 and game two 10-2.
Starting on the mound for the Badgers was Senior Southpaw Jeff Baggaley. Starting off early though for the Badgers, Blake Stepien was able to rack in some early runs as he landed an RBI single allowing Matthew Legg to score. Shortly following, the Badgers were able to take a 3-0 lead within the first inning due to a Queen’s fielding error allowing for another RBI single for Badger player Josh Wray.
Queens struggled to score until they managed to get two runs in during the third inning while adding another one in the top of the sixth inning, thus managing to tie the game at 3-3.
After three runs on seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts, Baggaley would call it a day as he left the mound.
Going into the bottom of the sixth, Brock would answer back with a single by Legg, allowing Michael Enns Ward and Dawson Veeneman to reach home plate and give the Badgers the lead again by a score of 5-3.
The Badgers were unable to maintain a two-point lead as the Gaels were able to add another run and cut the Badger lead by one, making the score 5-4 in the eighth inning.
Although the Badgers did have the lead, they were in need of some extra insurance in which Legg was able to deliver on that notion. With an RBI single by Legg and two run single for Dennon Koziol, the Badgers were able to add on three extra runs while also sending all nine batters to the plate and firmly put the game away with a final score of 8-4.
To close the game, Jake Near stepped up to the mound and threw a perfect inning while Legg proved to be the key performer as he went 4-5 with a run and three RBI’s
In the next game, the Badgers turned to Burlington native Derek Zwolinski.
It appeared as if the game wasn’t going to be in Zwolinski’s favor as he allowed the first three Queen’s batters to reach home. To add on to his discouraging start, Zwolinski was then faced with the bases loaded. Much to the Badgers relief, he was able to strike out two Queen’s players while allowing just one run, making the score 1-0 for the Gaels.
However, it didn’t take long for the Badgers to come alive as they stepped up in the bottom of the first. After a walk for Justin Gideon and a Queen’s error landed Legg on base, Koziol, Stepien and Noah Koffman had three straight singles, managed to have the bases loaded with no one out and two runs for the Badgers. Tyler Nakamura gave the Badgers a significant lead with a two run double and later scored on a Veeneman triple. Thus giving the Badgers a 6-1 lead by the end of the first inning.
Going into the top of the fourth, Queen’s would manage to score but Brock would answer right away with an RBI single from Stepien. The Badgers would add three more in the fifth from RBI’s by Veeneman and Legg.
To end the game, Zwolinksi had an excellent performance for the win allowing only four hits and two runs, one earned in five innings while striking out six Gaels. Adrian Yuen and Nathan Laird would finish the game in which they both played a shutout inning.
Batting performances were done by Koziol who went 2-3 with a run, a walk and a RBI, Stepien went 3-4 with a run and a RBI and Veeneman went 2-3, a run, a double, a triple and 2 RBIs.
The following day the Badgers would continue their season with a doubleheader against the Waterloo Warriors.
Due to the downpour the following evening, Sunday’s game was delayed by two hours due to field conditions, the Badgers walked away from the first game with a loss as they were defeated by the Warriors with a score of 14-7 while the Badgers rebounded in Game Two with an 8-2 victory.
With the game quickly starting in Waterloo’s favor, they were able to bring in five runs in the second inning. In hopes of cutting the deficit, the Badgers were able to take over th
ere scored off of walks and RBI’s from Noah Koffman and Michael Enns Ward, making the score 9-6 after five innings.
The men were unable to add anymore to the scoreboard as Waterloo would take the win by scoring four more runs within the sixth inning, thus ending the game.
e lead with an RBI triple from Tyler Nakamura and a groundout from Matthew Casburn, thus allowing Nakamura to score.
Brock starter Chase Porter would then be pulled from the game in the fourth inning as the Warriors would score another run after Porter went four innings allowing six runs on six hits, while he also allowed five walks with no strikeouts. Reliever Nick Subramaniam struggled during his Badger debut as he allowed three runs on three hits with one strikeout and one walk.
The Badgers would finally answer back with two runs which w
Going into game two, the Badgers wished for a different outcome and that is exactly what they got, as things turned out much better for the men.
The game proved to be very close with only one run being scored through the first three innings by Waterloo. However, the Badgers were able to take a huge lead going into the fourth inning as they scored all eight runs within the inning. Koffman and Spencer Gorick each had two RBI in the inning.
Brock had a strong showing from its pitchers with starter Alex Nolan going six innings, only allowing two runs on four hits, with five strikeouts and four walks. Matthew Balkwill closed things out for the Badgers pitching in the seventh inning.
Unfortunately the Badgers will not be home for Homecoming as they will be on the road when they head over to Toronto to play against the Ryerson Rams for a doubleheader game that starts at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on September 17.