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Men's Baseball
Hawks Split Series With Crosstown Rivals
Laurier: 4 Waterloo: 5

WATERLOO – The Wilfrid Laurier Men’s Baseball team travelled to Jack Couch Park in Kitchener on Saturday afternoon for a double header with cross-town rivals, the University of Waterloo Warriors.  Each team came away with a victory, as Laurier took game one 6-2, with Waterloo bouncing back to take the second game 5-4.

Sophomore pitcher, Jack Malone, made his first career start for the Hawks and worked a complete game to earn the victory in game one.  Malone scattered 6 hits over 7 innings, giving up 2 runs.  He struck out 3 and walked 3.  2B Scott Mahn and LF Brian MacDonald paced the Laurier offense as each player picked up 3 hits in game one.  The game was tied at 2 apiece when Laurier broke it open in the top of the 7th inning.  The rally was paced by a lined shot off the bat of freshman 3B Ryan Panas.  1B Curtis Young also had 2 hits in the game and 7 of the Hawks 9 starters contributed to the 12 hit attack.  Waterloo’s offense came courtesy a Mike Glinka 2-run homerun in the 4th inning, the only real blemish on the day for Malone.

Game two saw Laurier send freshman lefty Josh Wood to the hill to make his first career OUA start.  MacDonald kept up his torrid start to the season by belting his first homerun of the season to right centre field in the second inning to give the Hawks the lead.  Laurier tacked on 3 more in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead.  Wood was in command until the 5th inning when his control eluded him and he was replaced by reliever Brad Bach.  Bach’s control was also an issue on this afternoon and he struggled to find the strike zone.  Waterloo pushed across 3 runs in the inning via 5 walks to draw within one run.  Laurier held a one run lead into the bottom of the 7th inning when Waterloo put runners on second and third with one out.  Freshman reliever Steve Zagrodny had worked a clean 6th inning but was unable to close the door on the Warriors.  Waterloo OF Ben Norris ripped a single up the middle to score the 2 Waterloo baserunners and give his team a come from behind 5-4 victory.  MacDonald had 2 of the 4 Laurier hits on the afternoon in a game in which Laurier was able to get a number of freshmen in to see their first OUA action.

“It’s always disappointing to lose a game in the 7th inning that you led the entire way” commented Laurier Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE.  “It came down to our inability to throw strikes and it cost us.  I have to give credit to Waterloo, they were down early, but never gave up and they just flat out wanted the win more than we did.  It’s a good learning experience for our guys that you have to play hard right to the final out in order to win at this level”.

The Hawks received some bad news in game two as SS and 2007 OUA Second Team All-Star Damien Eccleton left the game after fouling a ball off his foot.  He has a hairline fracture of his foot and will be lost for a minimum of 3 weeks.  This is a blow to the Hawks but will present an opportunity for someone else to step up in Eccleton’s absence. 

The 4th annual Laurier Baseball alumni game which was scheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon at 1pm at Bechtel Park was cancelled due to rain and poor field conditions.  This event has become a Laurier Baseball tradition that many people come to enjoy each year, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until next year to see some names from the past take on the current Laurier team.

The Hawks next action is at home on Wednesday night when they make their regular season home debut against the three-time defending OUA Champions, the Western Mustangs.  Game time is 7pm at Bechtel Park.  Come on out and cheer on the Hawks, admission is free. 

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