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Hawks split double header with U of T Blues
Laurier: 1 Toronto: 7
Toronto - Laurier traveled to Toronto on Sunday to take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in OUA baseball action. This double header would go a long way in deciding the playoff picture in the OUA. Going into the games, Toronto sat at 7-6 in 3rd place and the Hawks, with a 5-8 record were tied for 5th.

Mark Eccleton (Toronto, Ont) got the start for the Hawks in game one and cruised through the first three innings. The Blues got on the board in the bottom of the 4th to take a 1-0 lead. Toronto starter, Dave Steffler, was doing a great job of changing speeds and keeping the Hawks off the base paths. He got the offensive support that he needed in the fifth, as the Blues exploded for 5 runs. All 5 runs were unearned, as a Golden Hawk error cost the team dearly. The Hawks pushed across a run in the 6th courtesy a Jordan Bilkas (Unionville, Ont) RBI single, but it was too little too late. The Blues scored again in the bottom of the 6th and held on for a 7-1 win. Eccleton went the distance, allowing only 2 earned runs, while striking out 5.

This loss pushed the Hawks to the brink of elimination and needed a win in the second game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Ryan Finnson (London, Ont) got the start for the Hawks and looked sharp early, as he had a no-hitter going through 3 innings. In the top of the 3rd, David Onyett-Jeffries (Toronto, Ont) hit a one out single. He stole second to get himself into scoring position for second baseman Jordan Wittig (Waterloo, Ont). Wittig singled through the left side and Jeffries scored from second, giving the Hawks the early 1-0 lead. Toronto got that run back in the fourth to tie the game at 1. Runs were hard to come by in this game, as Finnson was doing a masterful job of mixing his pitches and keeping the veteran Blues line-up at bay. The Hawks took their lead back in the sixth when Bilkas singled home Wittig. Finnson did the rest, as he went the distance in a 2-1 Hawks win. He scattered 4 hits over his 7 innings, striking out 8 along the way. His record improves to 3-1. DH Derek Rapini (Burlington, Ont) had 2 doubles to help lead the offense. SS Matt Snoei (Grassie, Ont) made a sparkling defensive play in the bottom of the 7th to help preserve the win.

With the win, the Hawks now sit at 6-9 and are still very much alive in the playoff hunt. The double header against McMaster that was originally scheduled for this past Saturday was postponed due to poor field conditions at Bechtel Park. These games will be made up this week, as the playoffs begin next weekend. The Hawks will send Derek Rapini (Burlington, Ont) and SCOTT BALLANTYNE (Kincardine, Ont) to the hill with the hope of securing their first playoff berth in OUA baseball history.
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