Baseball Drops Pair Of Heartbreakers On Opening Weekend
Box Scores: Friday | Saturday Game 1 | Saturday Game 2
ST. CATHARINE, Ky. - The Goshen College baseball season and the head coaching career of Eric Screeton both got underway in heartbreaking fashion this weekend as the Maple Leafs went 0-3, including a pair of late one-run losses.
On Saturday, Goshen Opened up in a neutral field contest against fellow Northern Indiana institution Holy Cross College. Both teams showed the affects of being outside for the first time since the fall early.
Sophomore right-hander Spencer Oversen (Goshen, Ind.) picked up where he left off from a strong fall season, retiring the first seven batters he faced, including striking out the side in the bottom of the first after the Leafs played the role of visitors.
Oversen's first and only real trouble of the afternoon came in the bottom of the third inning. After getting the leadoff batter to fly out, five-straight Saints reached base leading to two runs. The sudden barrage of action came on the strength of a Goshen error, a walk, a hit batter, and two Holy Cross singles.
While senior Omar Hernandez (Caracas, Venenzuela) registered the Maple Leafs first hit of the season in the top of the second, Goshen was not able to crack the scoring column until the fifth inning.
They too, took advantage of a couple Holy Cross miscues rallying for three runs on four hits and two errors in the frame. The inning was highlighted by an RBI double from junior Andy Swisher (Mooresville, Ind.) who finished the game 2-for-3.
Staked to a 3-2 lead, Oversen saw his season debut come to a close in the bottom of the fifth. He finished his 4 1/3 innings of work allowing four hits, one earned run, and struck out five. Senior Andrew Priem (Bristol, Ind.) came out of the bullpen and immediately induced a double-play ball as the Leafs held the 3-2 advantage into the bottom of the seventh and final inning.
Goshen's third error of the day started the inning, but they still looked to be in great shape as they had two outs with two on. A walk and a two-run double later, however, and the Leafs ended on the short end of a 4-3 loss on opening day.
The story was painfully similar in game one of a double header against host St. Catharine's College a day later. After rallying to tie the score at 4-4 in the top of the six, the Patriots immediately answered in the bottom half for a 5-4 win.
The Leafs fought back on several occasions in the contest. After trading unearned runs in the first, Goshen gave up another tally in the second and found themselves down 2-1 heading into the third. Sophomore Corey Johnson (Edwardsburg, Mich.) led off the inning with a double and eventually tied the score (2-2) on a single by Garrett Cannizzo (Arlington Heights, Ill.).
St. Catharine's Alan Stoupa gave the hosts another lead in the fourth with a two-run blast before the Leafs rallied again. All with two outs, Goshen had five-straight reach base, including a two-run single by Hernandez which knotted the score at 4-4.
The answer came quickly for the Patriots in the sixth as a pair of doubles provided the eventual game winner. Hernandez finished with two of Goshen's four hits in the contest as both he and Cannizzo knocked in two. Junior starter Shane Davis (Elkhart, Ind.) went five innings, giving up three earned runs on three hits.
The weekend finale was far less dramatic for the Leafs. They had just one base runner as Cannizzo was hit by a pitch in the top of the second. Matt Pavelich fired the six-inning no hitter for St. Catharine's as they rolled to a 10-0 victory.
Goshen (0-3) has a full week off before returning to action. They start their annual trip south for Spring Break with a double header at Berea College (Ky.) on Saturday.