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Men's Baseball
Hawks Split Series with Badgers
Laurier: 1 Brock: 0

WATERLOO – The Wilfrid Laurier Men’s Baseball team hosted the first place (and unbeaten) Brock Badgers on Tuesday night at Bechtel Park for a double header.  Each team came away with a victory, as Laurier took game one 1-0, with Brock bouncing back to take the second game 4-2.

Game one was a good old fashioned pitchers’ dual between Laurier’s Jack Malone and Brock’s Jordan Prosper.  Both pitchers changed speeds and threw a lot of strikes to keep the hitters off-balance.  The Hawks had chances to score in both the first and third innings however in both instances Prosper was able to pick off Laurier base runners to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard.  With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Jeff Brunsek drew a key walk for the Hawks.  He advanced to second on an errant pick-off attempt by Prosper.  Freshman 2B Jesse Milanovich executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Brunsek to third base with two out for lead-off man SS Scott Mahn.  With the count sitting at 1-1, Prosper uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Brunsek to score from third base with the only run of the ball game.  Jack Malone (2-0) was absolutely outstanding on the mound for the Hawks as he went the distance for his first career OUA shutout.  Malone allowed only one Brock base hit over seven innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.

RF Andrew Stevens lead the way offensively for the Hawks with two hits.  Mahn, C Chris Pittaway, 1B Curtis Young and Milanovich had the other four hits as Laurier outhit the Badgers six to one.

“Malone gave us the kind of start we needed in game one”, commented Laurier Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE.  “He is the kind of pitcher who isn’t afraid to throw any type of pitch in any count and that is exactly what he did all night tonight.  We had plenty of chances to score and when we finally pushed one across it was a nice relief to take the lead as we played well enough to win this game”.

The Hawks turned to freshman starter Josh Wood in game two as he made his second start of the season.  Brock touched up Wood for three runs in the second inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.  Brock only hit one ball hard in the inning, but managed to scrap across the three runs.  Laurier responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the second as CF Mike Ruetz drove in 3B Ryan Panas to cut the Badgers lead to 3-1.  Brock got that run right back in the top of the third inning when Wood balked in a run.  Wood settled in from there and held the Badgers off the scoresheet in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.  Matt Hall worked a scoreless seventh inning for the Hawks.  Laurier had plenty of chances to score off Brock starter Matt Martinow.  Mahn drove in pinch runner James Bruce in the sixth inning to make the score 4-2 and with 2 runners on base, Brock reliever Scott Price induced a ground ball from RF Andrew Stevens to end the threat.  Laurier hit a lot of balls hard on this night and the Brock OF defence was tremendous in tracking down the hard hit balls.  Wood (0-1) took the loss for the Hawks giving up four runs (2 earned) over six innings of work.  He struck out three and walked two.  Once again Laurier outhit the Badgers by a margin of 8 to 4 however 10 runners left on base was the story of this game for Laurier.  Mahn and Milanovich led the offensive attack with 2 hits apiece.  LF Brian MacDonald, Panas, DH Zach Joslin and Ruetz each added hits.  MacDonald’s hit was a bombing double to the fence in the fifth inning.

“I’m proud of the way we played today, in both games” said Ballantyne after the second game was over.  “These were two very well played and in my opinion we outplayed Brock in both.  We couldn’t catch a break in game two and Brock played outstanding defense to beat us.  Earning a split against a team like this is something for our guys to be proud of and something for us to build on heading into the weekend.”

Laurier has a busy weekend ahead with four games.  The Hawks travel to Guelph to take on the 2-3 Gryphons on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.  They then travel to Western on Saturday for a double-header with the three time defending OUA Champion Mustangs at 1:00 p.m.  On Sunday Laurier plays host to McMaster at Bechtel in a 1:00 p.m. start
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