WATERLOO, Ont.- The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks opened up their season at home Saturday defeating the reigning OUA champs, the McMaster Marauders, at Bechtel Park.
The pair of wins sets Laurier above Brock for the top spot in the OUA, pushing Mac into the third spot. "It was really nice to get back into our own park after playing five games on the road," said head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. "Especially to beat the reigning champs."
Chris Pittaway (Paris, Ont.) started the hitting off for Laurier in the first game with an RBI to bring Elliott Shrive (Rockwood, Ont.) in to score. Scott Mahn (Kitchener, Ont.) went on to earn another run on a pass ball, along with Pittaway courtesy of a triple hit by Pat Kropf (Waterloo, Ont.). McMaster silenced the crowd, scoring seven runs in the second inning alone. Laurier soon enough came back to earn four runs and tie the game at eight runs a piece by the end of the fourth inning. Jesse Milanovich (Unionville, Ont.), James Bruce (Waterloo, Ont.), Jeffrey Brunsek (Mississauga, Ont.), and Kropf all contributed by hitting singles, along with a double from Shrive. Pitcher Bradley Bach came in for David Canavan (Whitby, Ont.) mid game, and Joshua Robinson (Burlington, Ont.) went on to finish things off during extra innings. A set of crucial errors from Mac allowed Laurier to come out victorious in the tight spot, edging Mac by a final score of 9-8.
"Everyone played really well today," said team captain Mahn, who earned the game winning RBI. "It really took a full team effort."
"We battled hard," added Ballantyne. "We gave up seven early, and it showed a lot of heart to bounce back."
In game two of the double header, Laurier again came out on top winning 6-5. This time around Stephen Zagrodny (Mississauga, Ont.) started at pitcher, with rookie Steven Bowes (Ottawa, Ont.) entering his first game in the catcher’s position. The team took an early four run lead at bat, with Kropf and Mahn standing out on the infield defence. Mike Kennedy (Harrow, Ont.), Brian MacDonald (Markham, Ont.), and Kropf had a pair of hits each, with Bruce and Kennedy earning two RBI’s a piece. Steven Ayotte (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) also earned a solo hit.
"Everyone was really contributing for the win," said Kropf.
Trent Barwick (Orangeville, Ont.) went three up, three down on the mound in the fifth and sixth innings, and gave up only one hit in the seventh.
The Hawks will now prepare to face their cross town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors on Tuesday.
"We’ve lost the season series the last three years to them," said Ballantyne. "So we want to get up early." Game time is 7:00 p.m.