By Chris McCree
Despite notable individual efforts from Travis Clark ’13 and Doug Shribman ’11, the men’s baseball team dropped three of four during this weekend’s pivotal four-game series at Holy Cross.
“We knew Holy Cross was a very good baseball team going into the weekend, and we felt prepared to compete with them,” David Duffett ’12 said. “They got off to a fast start and scored some runs early to open up the weekend. We knew we were in for a battle.”
During day two of the series, the Bison didn’t fare as well as they had hoped, losing both games, including a heartbreaking 6-5 loss in game three.
During the final game of the series, Shribman belted two home runs and batted in six runs, but the Bison still fell by a 13-7 margin. Starter Jack Boehm ’12 lasted just one inning on the mound, allowing five runs. The pitching woes continued throughout the game as the Bison used five different pitchers over the course of the contest.
Facing a 3-0 deficit after the first inning of play in game three, the Bison battled back to tie the game in the fifth thanks to a crucial two-RBI double by Bob Donato ’12 and three hits by Duffett. Unfortunately, a late-inning Orange and Blue error allowed the Crusaders to regain a one-run lead and hold on for the victory.
After splitting the first day of play one game apiece, the series showed every indication that it would be a great battle. On the day, each team recorded their own 8-5 victory, yet in very different ways.
Game two stayed tight the entire game, setting the stage for an unlikely hero to bring home the victory for the Bison. Going into the eighth, the two teams were squared at five runs apiece yet with one swing of the bat, Clark was able to break the tie with his third home run of the day. Amazingly, Clark had not hit a home run in his career as a Bison coming into the series, yet he managed three in one day, including the very important game-breaking home run in game two. Donato had a home run of his own in the fifth inning as the Bison continued to use the long ball to their advantage.
In game one, the Crusaders got out to an early lead and never looked back. The Bison received a shaky pitching performance from Dylan Seeley ’11, giving up eight earned runs in 4.2 innings and recorded three of their five runs in the last two innings, when the game was already out of hand.
With the three losses on the weekend, the Bison now find themselves in a difficult spot at the bottom of the Patriot League.
“We were surprised that we didn’t win at least two games,” Donato said. “We are now at a point where every game matters. It’s time to bear down and focus on what we need to accomplish as a team.”
This weekend, the Bison will travel to Navy for a four-game series.
“We know what has to be done now, and we are very close to putting it all together,” Clark said. “Everyone’s pretty confident that with a few adjustments we can win the next three series and grab a spot in the playoffs.”