BRANTFORD, Ont.- The Golden Hawks faced the Western Mustangs in a double header at their alternative home diamond at Laurier’s Brantford campus, and failed to earn a win in either of the games. The team has now dropped from their first place standing to fourth in the OUA.
“I think it had a lot to do with our attitude,” said pitcher Stephen Zagrodny (Mississauga, Ont.). “It should be a good wake up call,” added catcher Chris Pittaway (Paris, Ont.). “We can’t go into a game with the comfort level we have been.”
In game one, Zagrodny struck out three batters while team captains Pittaway and Scott Mahn (Kitchener, Ont.) produced a pair of early runs for the Hawks. Mahn set things up with a single hit and a stolen base. After Pittaway singled, he sacrificed a steal to distract the Mustangs and bring Mahn in to score.
In the fourth inning, Western capitalized on errors by Mahn, shortstop Pat Kropf (Waterloo, Ont.), and Pittaway nailing down a 6-3 victory.
“I think they were more metal errors than they were physical,” explained head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE.
Third-year Bradley Bach (Oakville, Ont.) started on the mound for the Hawks in the second game of the double header, with rookie Trent Barwick (Orangeville, Ont.) coming in for his second relief appearance of the weekend, and Josh Robinson (Burlington, Ont.) finishing things off.
Defensively, first base man Brian MacDonald (Markham, Ont.) and third base man Ryan Panas (Toronto, Ont.) had standout performances. The duo completed a handful of unassisted outs each, and worked together between third and first base to earn outs.
In the end the Hawks couldn’t match the powerhouse Mustangs who delivered strong at bat, and made the Hawks go three up, three down for two innings.
“They didn’t make any mistakes defensively,” commented Ballantyne. “They out pitched and out hit us.”
Despite the losses, designated hitter Jesse Milanovich (Unionville, Ont.) hit well for Laurier, earning three hits and an RBI on five at bats. But overall, Laurier’s batting lineup struggled to deliver to their full potential, and the large number of errors strongly affected the final results.
“We have two solid days of practice coming up before our next game, so we will take advantage of that,” said Ballantyne. While Zagrodny added, “We just had some tough breaks and I think we’ll come out strong next week.”