Owls sweep Saint Rose
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
After being washed out April 2, sunny skies had the Owls play two with Saint Rose that Sunday. Game 1 was a one-sided affair, as freshman Nathan Carney threw a complete game nine-inning outing, en route to a 10-0 win.
The Owls completed their sweep of Saint Rose by winning 4-2 in the later session, and are now 14-4-1, a .763 winning percentage that jumps to 1.000 in-conference. Southern is 3-0 versus Northeast-10 competition so far this year.
“He was lights out,” head coach Tim Shea said, speaking of Carney, whom they call “The kid.” “We came up with seven runs in the fourth and we had some big swings. Connor Redahan got us going with the two-run single and then Nick Lamberti hit a big three-run double.”
Carney’s line read as follows: 9.0 IP, four hits, no runs, two walks, seven strikeouts and a hit batter. He improved to 2-1 in his freshman campaign, being recruited out of Bristol Eastern.
“This year we are playing for each other, and that’s really important. We’re learning how to win and winning is contagious,” said Shea. “It doesn’t matter who we play or what situation we’re in – the guys really feel like they’re gonna come out on top.”
When asked if he feels that his team is more prepared than last year, he said the younger guys have just moved up and gotten a year under their belts. He also contributed health to the equation, something that plagued the Owls in a 16-25-1 campaign last year.
“We talked a lot about changing the culture and working harder,” Shea said. “Our slogan is get up the hill. The guys have been doing a great job with that – whether it’s in our games, our practices or our weight room, everyone is working extremely hard to get better, and when you’re doing that collectively good things are going to happen.”
However, it is tough to get into a rhythm when the spring rain can create some havoc. Earlier this season, games against Post University March 5, Bentley March 24, Stonehill March 25 and Bentley University again March 26 were postponed due to inclement weather. One of this past weekend’s games was also pushed, but two of the three scheduled games were played, despite a March 31 rainstorm.
“It affects our flow,” pitcher Austin Darrow said. “We were 8-1 down in Florida and we came back and had to wait almost two weeks to even get a game in. The snow and rain kept us indoors for nearly 10 days.”
Shea said when there is a chance for bad weather he is on the phone with the athletic director trying to figure out alternate plans. He also said communication with the opposing coach is important because the weather “throws a monkey wrench” into both teams’ plans, especially in terms of travel plans.
“Division games have to get made up. Crossover games, from the other side of the conference, will not be rescheduled, and losing games off the schedule just happens every year,” he said. “But the conference always takes priority.”
He said teams with turf fields have a “major advantage” because after it rains their fields are still playable. He said turf schools generally will not lose a lot of games to the weather because “when the rain stops you are immediately able to play.”
Photo Courtesy: SCSU Athletic Communications