Men’s baseball takes win over UNH, 10-5
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Southern’s baseball team batted in five runs in the sixth inning that helped them secure a 10-5 win over cross-city rivals University of New Haven, this past week on April 27 at The Ballpark at SCSU.
The Owls found themselves down 3-0 at the end of the third inning, but Southern’s head baseball coach, Tim Shea, told his team to stay focused and keep chipping away.
“I told them it’s a long day and you got to play for a full nine innings,” said Shea. “I knew Jason would keep us in it and that the bats would come alive.”
Senior Jason Harper did keep Southern in the game, as he struggled early but ended up settling down. Harper finished the game only giving up two earned runs through six innings.
It didn’t look like Harper was going to have a chance at a win early on, but the Owls’ bats came to life in the fifth and sixth innings, as they batted in nine of their total 10 runs scored in those two innings.
“It was huge,” said Shea when referring to the fifth and sixth innings. “We were playing pretty flat, but then the hits started to come, and they came in bunches. Their outfield was playing shallow, so we played it aggressively and sent a lot of guys home. They weren’t making the throws so it worked out for us.”
Nick Lamberti was one of the main cogs in the offense for the Owls, as he drove in three runs on two singles. This is nothing new for Lamberti, as he leads the Owls in hits on the year with 39.
On top of that, Lamberti also recorded a stolen base. He leads the Owls in stolen bases, stealing 16 bases thus far.
Despite the productive day Southern had on the plate on offense, the same can’t be said for Southern’s fielding on defense. Jake Paul, Greg Zullo and Ethan Joyce all recorded an error in the game, in what was a sloppy fielding game for the Owls.
Coach Shea knows that they have to get that corrected going forward.
“Sometimes it’s just not focusing. Zullo’s ball was a hard hit ball off the chest. Ethan just didn’t set his feet, and Jake didn’t concentrate on the low throw that was at the ankles,” said Shea. “Those are just things we have to work through and try to continue to get better at.”
Harper didn’t let those errors get in his head. The 6-foot-2-inch right-handed pitcher, did run into some trouble in the sixth inning as he had back-to-back walks with two outs – and his pitch count high.
Shea went out to the mound after these walks to ask if Harper had anything left. Harper convinced Shea to stay in the game, and ended up getting the next batter looking for his sixth strikeout of the game.
After Harper got out of the sixth inning, Shea looked to freshman Quantique White to close out the game. White came in and delivered a strong performance, as he walked one, struck out three and gave up two runs over three innings.
Shea was proud of the way the freshman responded to the situation his coach put him in.
“He threw great,” said Shea. “He’s a freshman, but we’ve been going to him a lot. He has good composure out there, and he doesn’t get rattled much. He had that one double that he gave up, but other than that he pitched really well.”
The win brought the Owls to a 12-22-1 record on the season.
Now, with only three games left on the schedule, Southern is in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. The Owls will finish off their regular season with a three-game home series against division rivals, Le Moyne College, where the Owls are 5-1-1 at home.
Photo Credit: Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer