Zwolinski impresses again as Badgers sweep doubleheader

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The Brock Badgers men’s baseball team had quite the afternoon this past Saturday, winning both games of their doubleheader against the McMaster Marauders. The pair of wins for the Badgers extended their winning streak, improving to a 4-2 record in the process.

Game one saw Derek Zwolinski on the mound for the Badgers, and with their ace on the hill, they were able to come out on top with a 6-3 win. Zwolinski was once again masterful, allowing just two earned runs, while striking out seven over six-and-two-thirds strong innings. Zwolinski’s performance gives him an 1.15 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched over his last two starts.

The Badgers were able to capitalize against a sloppy Marauders defence that committed six errors in the game, allowing Brock to strike first and take a 1-0 lead. That lead was soon extended thanks to a number of Badger hits, most notably an RBI triple courtesy of Ryan Bench.

Right hander Alex Emerson got the nod for game two, striking out a pair while allowing three earned runs over three-and-two-thirds innings. The Badgers’ first base coach Shawn McCart was pleased with Emerson’s performance, saying, “Alex did really well, he battled in the heat. He didn’t have his best curveball, but he battled and gave us enough innings to utilize our bullpen efficiently.”

Jacob Ebbs came on in relief of Emerson, and the lefty was sensational, throwing three-and-a-third perfect innings, striking out five (including four in a row), and retiring all 10 batters he faced. The Marauders had no answer to Ebbs’.

The Badgers’ bats came out firing, torching McMaster with six runs in the opening frame, and chasing Marauders starter Nate Hamel after just 0.2 innings. Hamel was charged with six earned runs in a forgettable outing that saw him struggle with his command.

McCart commented on the importance of starting strong. “It’s so important because momentum’s everything in a short seven inning game, so to put a six spot in the first inning is huge, it takes the pressure off our pitching staff.”

The Badgers offense was led by shortstop Noah Koffman, who went three-for-four in game two with two RBI’s, including a triple in the first inning. Leadoff man William Da Costa reached base three times as well, and Connor Humphrey knocked in two runs of his own.

Brock would hold the lead from start to finish, securing the win by a final of 8-4. The Badgers persevered through the brutal heat to combine for 20 hits and 16 runs over the doubleheader, all the while holding McMaster to just seven combined runs.

“We battled hard and stayed intense for 16 innings. That’s not easy to do in this heat,” said McCart. “We did things well defensively and we finally got some hits when we needed to in the second game. [The] first game we were a little short on getting the clutch base hit with runners in scoring position, but we definitely played better in game two.”

Brock will try and extend their winning streak on Saturday when they take on the Laurentian Voyageurs.

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