LONDON – The Wilfrid Laurier Men’s Baseball team continued a busy
weekend by travelling to Labatt Park in London
to take on the three time defending OUA Champions, the Western Mustangs. After two very close ball games, each team
walked away with a victory. Western was
victorious in game one 3-2 with Laurier responding in game two, taking a 3-2
victory to salvage a split in the double header.
Game one was a pitchers’ dual between Laurier’s Tim Sinyard (Aurora, Ont.) and Western’s Andrew Bergman. The two pitchers matched each other pitch for pitch through five innings, as the game was still scoreless heading to the 6th inning. Sinyard was making his second start of the season and second against the Mustangs. The crafty lefty was doing a great job of frustrating the Mustang hitters and keeping them off-balance. Western got to Sinyard in the sixth however as an errant pick-off move and a wild pitch were contributing factors to Western’s two run rally to take a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning. Bergman walked Curtis Young (Waterloo, Ont.) to lead-off the seventh and fell behind in the count to Laurier slugger Brian MacDonald (Marhham, Ont.). MacDonald keyed in on a fastball and tattooed it into the trees behind left-field to tie the game at 2-2. Bergman then hit Andrew Stevens (Burlington, Ont.) to keep the Laurier rally alive and was relived by Kyle Menard who was able to strand the Laurier base-runner and give his team a chance to win. Shawn Robinson worked his way on base off Sinyard in the seventh inning and then promptly stole second and third to set up a sacrifice fly off the bat of Clarke Markle to end the game. Sinyard worked a very strong six 2/3 innings giving up three runs (2 earned) on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Laurier outhit the Mustangs five to four with C Chris Pittaway (Paris, Ont.) picking up two infield singles and MacDonald delivering the big blow for Laurier with the two run homer. 3B Ryan Panas (Toronto, Ont.) and 2B Jesse Milanovich (Unionville, Ont.) had the other Hawk hits.
Brad Bach (Oakville, Ont.) made his first start of the season in game two of the double header. Brad’s brother Conrad is a catcher with the Mustangs so this start was extra special for Brad. Both teams put up a run in the first inning, however the highlight of the first inning occurred when Brad struck out his brother Conrad on a 3-2 fastball. Laurier pushed across two more runs in the third inning courtesy a Brian MacDonald two run single. Bach did a good job keeping the Mustang bats at bay, however they did manage a single run in the fifth inning to make the score 3-2. Matthew Hall (Oakville, Ont.) came in to relieve Bach in the sixth and earned the save by recording the final six outs of the ball game. The defensive highlight of the afternoon saw RF James Bruce throw out Western OF Andrew Salmon from right field for a 9-3 put-out. Bach (1-0) picked up the win working five innings giving up two runs (1 earned) on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Bruce had two hits for the Hawks, with singles going to Scott Mahn (Kitchener, Ont.), Panas, MacDonald and Jeff Brunsek (Mississauga, Ont.).
“This is a tough place to play and Western is a very fundamentally sound ball club.” commented Laurier Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE after the double header. “In game one they capitalized on our mistakes and in game two we limited our mistakes and ended up capitalizing on theirs. I was proud of the way that our team played today as we bounced back after a disappointing performance last night to play well today. Sinyard and Bach gave us two really good outings”.
At the halfway point of the season, the double header split moves the Hawks to 4-5 on the season.
The Hawks will now play host to McMaster on Sunday to finish off a very busy weekend.