Today: May 29, 2024

Owls halt the Purple Knights

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
T.J. Shea stops the Saint Michael’s Jacob Begnoch
from pushing home a run.

RYAN FLYNN General Assignment Reporter

Near the end of an eight-game road swing down in Florida, the Owls baseball team did something they hadn’t done all season. They lost back-to-back games. Home for a doubleheader against the Saint Michaels Purple Knights, the Owls looked to get back to their winning ways. They did just that, easily taking the first game 9-2 and gutting out the second 7-4.

“We played pretty well in Florida on that trip,” head coach Tim Shea said. “We got beat in two games that, you know, we didn’t play our best. We were right there. So it’s important to bounce right back.”

The 15-5 Owls entered the game as the prohibitive favorite against 3-7 Saint Michaels and showcased why early on. Southern scored two runs on four hits in the opening frame and tacked on another two runs in the second when senior centerfielder Brian Dorsey doubled to left center and first baseman Ryan Geffert singled to left, bringing in a run apiece.

Geffert, a senior, was a force in the first of the two games, batting 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run and a walk to go along with his 12 put-outs at first base. After allowing a run in the third, the Owls broke the game wide open in the fifth inning to the tune of four more runs. The Owls were able to hold their lead, winning 9-2. Freshman starter Cole Bryant went six innings, allowing the two runs while striking out six.

In game two, the Purple Knights immediately runs, one earned, in the first inning off of Owls starter Steve Landell.

The Saint Michaels dugout was beyond rowdy and loudly yelled out support for their teammates during each at-bat. The Purple Knights players’ chants were easily audible over the mostly subdued Southern crowd.

Southern began to chip away at the early lead. Geffert scored on a Michael Cleary double in the third to put the Owls down 3-1.

Then, in the fourth, patience by the Owls and a lack of control by Saint Michaels starter Collin Fishman gave Southern the spark they needed. Testa worked a walk to begin the inning and then advanced to second on a Cleary groundout. T.J. Shea and freshman Nick Baviello then walked as well to load the bases. Third baseman Brandon Docimo was the next batter to take a base on a walk, this time walking in a run.

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Sam Greenberg is called safe after stealing second base in Game 1 of the Owls sweep of Saint Michaels.

After a pitching change and a fly out by shortstop Sam Greenberg, senior T.K. Kiernan approached the plate down one with two outs and the bases loaded. After falling behind 0-2, Kiernan ripped a ball to right center, scoring both Shea and Baviello.

“It was big spot in the game,” Kiernan said. “[Fishman] got up early, got up 0-2, and I was just looking to fight off any pitch I could. Luckily enough he hung me a splitter and I dunked it into right field.”

2-out hits, as well as clutch pitching was the story of the game. Landell gave up another run in the fifth but followed this by stranding the bases loaded. A two-out, two-RBI single by Nick Baviello in the bottom of the inning added to their lead.

Landell was pulled in the sixth with a runner on third and replaced by freshman lefthander Pat Egan. Egan allowed one run before loading the bases with one out and the 6-4 Southern lead appeared to be in jeopardy. However, Egan struck out the next batter swinging and got the following Purple Knight to fly out to centerfield.

“I came in, I knew I had to get outs,” Egan said. “I was throwing strikes but they were just getting little dink hits and I was fortunate to get out of it with just one run.” Egan gave credit to his defense for picking him up as well.

The young lefthander would settle down after this, allowing just one hit in the next three innings en route to his first career save. The Owls would tack on one more insurance run, winning the second game 7-4.

“I think it’s good just to know that we can come to play against anybody,” Kiernan said. “I mean, the teams in our conference especially. These were two big games and we can’t lose to anybody from the Northeast if we want to go back to where we were last year.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog