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Scots battle inconsistencies

April 8, 2016

Michelle Ravel / The Courier - Senior Brandon Harroun takes a swing.

The men’s baseball team faced Grinnell College in their first conference match-up at home this past Thursday in a double header. The Scots dropped the first game of the double header 1-0 to the Pioneers. The Pioneers beat the Scots with a score of 7-4 to round out the double-header.

“Our goal this season is to win conference,” said sophomore Brian Hoel. “Our team has the right balance of good chemistry and baseball talent for us to reach that goal. Along the way there is going to be adversity that we face, but keeping a positive attitude is the key to make our goals a reality.”

The double-header on Thursday followed their 1-2 weekend against Robert Morris-Peoria’s baseball team. The Scots hosted the Eagles at home on Saturday and won the contest 9-0.

The Scots offense came out roaring by dropping four runs in their half of the first inning on Robert Morris-Peoria’s. Their offense would go on to score a run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings and then saw freshman Jake Starkey and junior Ryan Sparks cross the plate in the seventh inning as well.

Freshman Tyler McDonald tossed six scoreless innings while fellow freshman teammate Ridge Greenman tossed an additional three scoreless frames to preserve the shootout victory over the Eagles.

The Scots were led offensively by junior Austin Hardy who went 3-4 at the plate with a walk, three RBI, and a run scored. Junior Bryson Sheppard went 2-5 at the plate with 2 RBI and a pair of runs scored. Sparks went 2-5 at the plate and scored two runs in the contest.

“You could really see how dominating our team could be,” said sophomore Mike Gertz. “Our offense did an amazing job to helping out the gem our pitching staff was spinning. Our team is capable of taking that conference crown at the end of the year and our game on Saturday really showed our potential.”

Michelle Ravel / The Courier - Freshman Tyler Mcdonald makes a leaping grab in the field.

Monmouth College then took to the road to meet the Eagles on their home field in Peoria, Illinois. The Scots lost their pair of games against Robert Morris-Peoria.

The Scots dropped seven runs on the Eagles in the top of third inning before giving up a pair of runs in the bottom of the same inning. Both teams put up another pair of runs in the fifth inning, to bring the score to 9-4 heading into the top of the sixth inning.

The Scots put up another pair of runs in the top of the sixth, but a slew of walks to Eagles hitter by the Scots pitching staff lead to a 10-run bottom of the inning. The Scots were unable to pull off a rally, and lost the contest 21-11. Monmouth College lost the second game 14-5 after they were unable to overcome an early deficit.

“The road trip to Peoria didn’t go how we wanted,” said Hoel. “However, in baseball you just have to forget about your mistakes and remain in the here and now. The more you focus on the negative, the more your mistakes will compound. It’s important that we keep focused on our goal of winning the conference title.”

The Scots will return to action this Saturday as they rematch Grinnell College in a double header. The Scots will travel to Iowa to face the Pioneers with their first game scheduled for noon. The second matches opening pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Anthony Matozzi
Sports Editor

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