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(Photo Credit: Tina Chong)
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Hawks split games against Toronto, McMaster
Laurier: 0 Toronto: 3

MILTON, Ont. (September 12, 2012) - After Saturday's games were postponed due to rain, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks lost their second game of the season to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 3-0 as part of the OUA Baseball Kick-Off tournament held at the beautiful new Milton Sports Park.

Golden Hawks starter Jordan Petruska ran into some bad luck in the first inning, allowing one walk and three consecutive base hits on seeing eye singles to give the Blues an early 3-0 lead.  He settled in nicely after the first inning to throw a complete game allowing two more baserunners over his next five innings. Petruska finished off with 6 innings pitched giving up three runs (one earned) on two walks, four hits, and three strikeouts.

On the offensive side, Laurier couldn't solve Toronto starter Drew Taylor, as he changed speeds and kept the Golden Hawks hitters off balance.  Laurier generated very little offence through the first six innings however two hits and a walk in the seventh did not lead to a run as the offense really sputtered on this day.  The four hits that Laurier did generate came from LF Daniel Murphy, 2B Trevor Nyp, PH McKenzie Maxwell and C Adam Chong.

"Taylor was tough on us this afternoon," said Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE after the game.  "He is a very experienced pitcher and he changed speeds and hit spots.  Our guys were very anxious and never really got it going offensively.  Petruska was fantastic for us and deserved a better fate.  They did not hit the ball hard off of him in the first inning, but that's the way baseball goes sometimes."

After dropping their first two games of the season, the Golden Hawks picked up their first win of the season against the McMaster Marauders, beating them 6-5 in a back and forth contest that had everything.

Laurier took an early lead after a Daniel Murphy walk and Ryan Panas single.  Smart base running led to their first run when Panas stole second and Murphy stole home on a well executed double steal. The lead would not last however as the Marauders would go on to score two in the second, and one in the fifth. However the Golden Hawks would not give up, as they scored in the bottom of the fifth on a McKenzie Maxwell RBI single and a two-run bloop double by Ryan Panas in the sixth giving the Golden Hawks a 4-3 lead. McMaster did not give in and with two out, aided by a Laurier throwing error they tied the game and eventually took the lead 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.   The Golden Hawks battled hard and came back with singles from McKenzie Maxwell and John King and before you know it there were runners on first and second, two outs, Jon Brouse at the plate in a 5-5 ballgame. He struck out on a ball in the dirt, but strong hustle forced an errant throw by the catcher and he missed the first baseman, leading to John King coming in to score the winning run all the way from second base. 

3B Ryan Panas lead the charge by going 2-4 with two RBIs. LF McKenzie Maxwell went 3-4 with an RBI, 2B John King went 1-2 with an RBI, two walks and one run scored and RF Daniel Murphy went 0-2 with two walks, two stolen bases, and two runs. Starter Ian Filion went four innings allowing two earned runs on five hits and two strikeouts for the no decision. In relief, Justin Newbold went 2.1 innings giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and six strikeouts.  Zachary Danilewitz finished off the game with 0.2 innings allowing two hits and no walks while striking out one to pick up the win.

"This was a gutsy win by our ball club," commented Ballantyne.  "McMaster fought hard and full marks to them, but in the end it was hustle plays by guys like King and Brouse that made the difference for us.  It was not a crisp ball game, but we'll take a win and it's nice to get the first conference win under your belt."

Laurier (1-2) now hosts rivals, Western (2-1), on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Bechtel Park.
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