WATERLOO, Ont. (September 17, 2012) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's baseball team won three of four games this weekend to improve their conference record to 4-4.
The Golden Hawks currently sit in fourth place in the OUA after eight games. On Saturday, Laurier swept the defending OUA Champions from Toronto by scores of 3-2 in extra innings and 7-3. In the third inning of the second game, Ryan Panas notched a double to record his 86th career base hit, passing Pat Kropf and becoming the all-time hits leader in Laurier Baseball history. On Sunday, Laurier split a DH with McMaster, losing game one 8-7 before rebounding for a 7-3 win in game two.
Jordan Petruska faced off against Torontos ace, Marek Deska, in game one on Saturday and Petruska and Deska matched each other pitch for pitch for most of the afternoon. Deska left after 5 innings with a 2-0 lead, but his bullpen couldn't hold the lead. With 2 outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Laurier came alive and took advantage of back to back walks to set up pinch hitter, freshman Adam Shaver who laced a single to right field to load the bases. 2011 OUA Rookie of the Year, Jonathan Brouse, then doubled to right field to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the bottom of a eigth a Toronto error allowed Panas to reach base and he eventually scored on a wild pitch to end the game. Petruska worked all 8 innings to pick up his first win of the season for Laurier as he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits with 0 walks and 4 strikeouts. Offensively, Brouse and LF Riley Robinson led the way with 2 hits apiece. Panas, Shaver and SS Colin McKeen also added hits.
In the night cap, Toronto got off to an early 2-0 lead through 2 inning, but Laurier battled hard and with Toronto up 3-1 in the bottom of the 5th, Laurier exploded for 3 runs and added 3 more in the 7th to cruise to a 7-3 win. Ian Filion got the win working 5 innings giving up 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits with 1 walk and 0 strikeouts. Offensively, CF Jonathan Brouse had another 2 for 4 game with 2 runs scored and an SB. 2B John King was 2 for 3 with a run scored. DH Alex Kupchak 1 for 2 with an RBI and 2 walks. RF Riley Robinson 1 for 3 with a run scored and RBI. 3B Ryan Panas 1 for 4 with a double and RBI. SS Colin McKeen 1 for 3 with 2 runs scored. C Daniel Murphy 1 for 3 with an RBI. LF McKenzie Maxwell 1 for 2 with an RBI, run scored and 2 walks.
"This was a great day for our program, as not only did Ryan break Pat's career hits record, but we also picked up two victories against a good team," commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. "We swung the bats better today than we had in our first few conference games and the hard work that our kids are putting in is paying off. I can't say enough about the start that Petruska gave us in game one. He threw great and proved that he is one of the top pitchers in the league."
On Sunday Laurier travelled to McMaster and split a pair of games. In game one, the Golden Hawks fell behind 3-0 early and McMaster broke the game open with 4 runs in the fourth inning, before Laurier came roaring back to tie the game at 7 in the fifth inning. McMaster responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth and that proved to be enough for an 8-7 victory. Laurier starter, Justin Newbold, was a victim of a couple of Laurier errors as he gets a no decision going 3 2/3 innings giving up 7 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits with 3 walks and 0 strikeouts. Trent Barwick suffers the loss as his lead-off walk in the fifth inning came around to score the winning run. Offensively for Laurier, 1B Ryan Panas was 2 for 3 with a double, run scored and SB. SS Colin McKeen was 1 for 3 with a double, walk, run scored and 2 RBI. LF Riley Robinson was 1 for 4 with a double and run scored C Daniel Murphy had 2 runs scored. Other hits were recorded by 3B McKenzie Maxwell and DH Alex Kupchak. Other RBI went to Maxwell and RF Brandon Manley (2).
In game two, Laurier responded with 4 runs in the first inning and 2 runs in the second on route to a 7-3 win. Adam McBride picked up the win going 4 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits with 4 walks and 0 strikeouts. Brett van Pelt worked the final 3 innings out of the bullpen to record the save. Offensively for Laurier, SS Colin McKeen was 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. LF Daniel Murphy was 3 for 3 with 2 runs and 2 SB. 3B Ryan Panas was 2 for 4 with an RBI, 2 runs scored and an SB. 1B Adam Shaver had a 2 run double in the first inning which set the tone for the game. Other hits went to DH Riley Robinson and 2B John King.
"We're disappointed that we didn't go 4-0 this weekend as we swung the bats well enough to pick up 4 wins," commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE following the games. "We'll take a 3-1 weekend and it gets us back into the mix after a slow start. I thought we had some really good swings again today and guys like McKeen and Murphy had big days for us today. McMaster is a gritty team and we're glad we don't have to face them anymore this season."
Laurier is now 4-4 in conference play (12-7 overall) and find themselves in fourth place in the OUA. The Golden Hawks are off until next weekend when the travel to London on Saturday to take on the Western Mustangs before returning home on Sunday to face the cross-town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors.