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(Photo Credit: Tina Chong)
(Photo Credit: Tina Chong)
Hawks edge Gryphons in marathon
Laurier: 9 Guelph: 6

GUELPH, Ont. (September 22, 2011) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks outlasted the Guelph Gryphons 9-6 in 15 innings in OUA Baseball action on Thursday night.  

In the longest game played in the OUA this year, CF Darnell Duckett got the big hit as his 2 out triple in the top of the 15th inning scored SS Tim Schell and LF Jonathan Brouse to put the Golden Hawks ahead to stay in this marathon game.  Wes Van Luven was the winner for Laurier, as he pitched an astonishing 7 innings of shutout relief.

Guelph jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning on Laurier starter and freshman, Adam McBride.  McBride battled through 5 innings and deserved a better fate, as he left trailing 4-0.  Laurier cut into the Guelph lead when C Adam Chong scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-1 in the top of the sixth inning.  Freshman McKenzie Maxwell came on in the sixth in relief of McBride and Guelph tacked on an unearned run to go up 5-1.  The Golden Hawks showed strong resiliency and responded with 2 runs of their own in the seventh inning and 3 more in the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead.  The eighth inning was sparked by 3 runners scoring on wild pitches.  Guelph tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning courtesy a bases loaded walk.  Both teams had many chances to score in extra innings, especially the Golden Hawks, who stranded runners in scoring position in the 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th innings.  Guelph was held in check by Van Luven as be retired 13 straight batters beginning with 2 out and a runner on third base in the bottom of the 11th inning.  With 2 out and no runners on base in the top of the 15th inning, Schell drew a walk.  Brouse then struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach base safely.  After Brouse stole second, the scene was set for Darnell Duckett.  Duckett laced a pitch into the right centre field gap to score both runners and hustled around to third base, legging out a triple.  3B Ryan Panas followed with a single to right field to score Duckett and stretch the lead to 9-6.  Van Luven worked a perfect 15th inning to earn the win.  Van Luven went 7 innings giving up no runs on 4 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.  Offensively, Laurier registered 10 hits on the night, lead by: Duckett (2 for 5 with 2 RBI, 1 run and 3 walks) and Panas (3 for 7 with an RBI run and SB).  Tino Silvestri, James Bruce, Trevor Nyp, Adam Chong and Schell also chipped in with hits.

Im proud of our guys for grinding out this win tonight, commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE following the game. We fought back and capitalized on their mistakes to get ourselves back in the ball game.  I cant say enough about our bullpen tonight.  They threw 10 innings of great baseball to keep us in  the  ball game and Van Luven was the story with his 7 shutout innings. This was a big character win for us.

Notes:  These two teams will battle again on Saturday at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford as part of the Laurier Brantford Homecoming festivities first pitch flies at 1pmLaurier sits atop the OUA standings with a record of 8-2 (16-3 overall).
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