Today: Apr 23, 2024

Baseball loses to cross-city rival

Sean Meenaghan -- Photo Editor
T.K. Kiernan making a play at third base.

 RYAN FLYNNGeneral Assignment Reporter

Timely hitting and stout pitching by cross-town rival New Haven spelled doom for the 15th ranked Owls Base­ball team on Tuesday afternoon. Southern’s in­ability to string together hits in crucial situations, along with a few lapses in pitching, gave way to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the UNH Chargers.

The game had the looks of a pitcher’s duel early, with both Rocco Cundari, a sophomore from Norwalk, Connect­icut, and opposing right-hander Mike Aquilino throwing well early. Each moved through the first four frames without al­lowing a score.

“[Aquilino] threw the ball well,” Southern Head Coach Tim Shea said of the UNH pitcher. “He was around the zone, he mixed a good changeup in there, kept our hit­ters off balance. So, you know, you tip your cap. The kid threw the ball pretty well and made pitches when he had to make pitches.”

UNH broke through in the fifth, in a rally that started with a broken-bat single by senior David Wirkus. Wirkus was bunted over to second and then—following a walk given up to teammate Joe Romanelli—stole third. With one man out and runners on first and third base, Cundari surrendered an RBI single to junior Stephen Clout for the first run of the game.

Sean Meenaghan -- Photo Editor
Bryan Dorsey sliding into second base after hitting a double.

Clout then stole second, and a bouncing single up the middle by teammate Cory Carr scored both re­maining runners to give UNH a 3-0 edge. After crossing home plate, Clout ran towards his awaiting teammates with his tongue extended, catching high-fives left and right. Cundari re­tired the next two batters to end the inning.

“I think we started off with a little broken bat hit and then I just walked a guy. That was a mistake,” Cundari said. “And then they just started putting some runs together. There was nothing really I could do. I hit my spots, they just were making good contact.”

The Owls had a chance to begin their comeback in the bottom of the sixth, when shortstop Kyle Cummings led off with a high, arcing shot to left-center. Cummings doubled standing up. He would remain stranded there, however, with the next three batters going down in order by way of a groundout, pop out and fly out.

“I thought the big difference to­day was, they came up with a couple of hits with runners in scoring posi­tion and we didn’t,” Shea said. “We had guys in scoring position through­out the course of the game but we just couldn’t get the knock when we needed to get the knock and they were able to do that in that fifth inning [and] score the three runs.”

After New Haven tacked on an­other run in the eighth inning, Southern attempted to make a game of it in the bottom of the ninth. They scored two and left two on base, ending the game on a T.K. Kiernan groundout to short.

“We need to just keep playing the way we’re playing; we just need to pick up the intensity more,” Cundari said. “I feel when we get late in the innings we fall back and then when it comes to the ninth we try to get it all back, when we should just be working inning by inning.”

Four days later, on the road against the University of Massachu­setts Lowell, the Owls dropped both games in their doubleheader by scores of 9-4 and 4-3. They next play at Post University on April 10th, followed by a rematch at New Haven one day later.

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