Brock Baseball faced McMaster University at George Taylor Field on Sunday afternoon. After splitting their series against Waterloo the day before, Brock had a 3-1 record heading into their matchup with the Marauders. The Badgers bats have been hot so far this season, scoring 36 runs through their first four games.
In their first series this season against the Varsity Blues, Brock had no trouble scoring runs, winning 11-5 and 9-8. They fell flat in Game 1 against Waterloo, losing 4-3, but they found their groove in Game 2, coming back with a 13-11 win.
The Badgers have some high expectations for themselves this year, which they should considering how successful they have been over the last few seasons. First baseman and designated hitter Blake Stepien is now in his fourth season with the Badgers, and has been a part of some special moments with the team.
When asked about the expectations for this season, the goal was made very clear.
“We have a talented roster with a good combination of experience and youth. I expect us to be very competitive, and hopefully a championship contender,” said Stepien, who was a part of the team when Brock last won the OUA Baseball Championship in 2014.
As a senior on the team, Stepien looks to use his experience to be a leader and set an example for the younger players.
“My role this year is to be a good leader both on and off the field. With our season being so short, it’s important that the team gets into a team first mentality. I was fortunate enough to win an OUA Championship in my first season, and the way that team fought for each other and came together was a big part of why we were so successful.”
Much like their other games this season, the Badgers bats were hot again in Game one against McMaster. Brock pulled ahead early, managing to score six runs through the first three innings. Meanwhile, pitcher Alex Nolan was strong all game long. He went seven innings, while striking out 10 batters and not giving up a run. The Badgers added more runs in the sixth and seventh innings, leading to a 10-0 victory after the game was called early due to the mercy rule. The offense was led by Noah Koffman and Nick Spillman, who each had 2 runs batted in in the game.
This win was their biggest margin of victory this season, and Brock seemed to have all of the momentum after game one.
However, after McMaster put up a run in the top of the first inning in the second game, the Badger surge disappeared. They struggled to get hits, and after tying the game in the fourth inning, the Marauders responded immediately with two runs to take a 3-1 lead. The score remained the same into the seventh and final inning. After struggling all game to generate any offense, the Badgers came alive in the bottom half of the inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out, before drawing a walk to get the score to 3-2. After an error by McMaster allowed the Badgers to tie the game at three, Brock had the bases loaded with 1 out and a chance to win the game. McMaster continued to fall apart when it mattered most, and another error by their centerfielder allowed the Badgers to walk off with a 4-3 win.
“Our offense is full of some very experienced hitters that are well aware of what they are capable of. We never get down on ourselves even when things weren’t going our way early in the game,” said Stepien. “We’ve already had a couple great comeback wins this season and I believe that’s a result of our lineup being more experienced and prepared for these big moments. Also, credit goes to our pitchers for consistently holding us in games and giving us the chance to make a comeback.”
The Badgers look to keep their three game winning streak going next weekend. They take on Laurier at home on Saturday before heading to London to face Western on Sunday.