Baseball collects one win over AIC
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Baseball lost three of its four games in their weekend series against American International College on Saturday and Sunday at Pelz Field.
The Owls are now 4-5 on the season overall and 3-5 in Northeast 10 conference play, while AIC moves to 7-11 on the season and 6-4 in NE10 conference play.
“Earlier on in the series, we got out of our ‘Owls hitting’ in a sense. I don’t think we were sticking to our approach too well,” said outfielder Andrew Eng, a junior. “I think, me especially, got a little big in some sorts and trying to win a ball game with one swing. Towards the end of the series, we started to come together, started to string along at-bats, some good defense, have some good pitching and carry that momentum over and try to score a couple of runs, which we did in that last game.”
The Owls were unable to add to the win column until the final game in the series, played on Sunday afternoon, grinding out a 3-1 victory.
The doubleheader on Saturday to kick off the series featured two completely different games: a 6-5 nail biter and a 15-1 loss where the offense couldn’t get anything going.
In the first game, the Owls headed into the eighth inning with a 5-4 lead but were unable to hold on, relinquishing it by allowing AIC to score two runs and taking a 6-5 lead. The Owls couldn’t answer back in the final two bottom innings.
“It’s tough to talk for the entire team. I think for some it was a little gut wrenching to lose a close a game, I mean it always is,” said Eng. “I think we definitely didn’t do a great job battling back in the second game. I think it was a mixture of a lot of things, AIC playing some good ball and us not really sticking to our plan of attack.”
Eng continued his hot offensive start to the season, driving in four runs in the series, bringing his team leading total on the season to 14 in nine games played, according to Southern’s athletic website.
The Owls split the second of the doubleheaders in the series on Sunday, losing a close first game 4-2, but bounced back to win the final game of the series 3-1.
The team came into the weekend without Head Coach Tim Shea and Assistant Coach Ed Bethke, who were both in quarantine at the time, which left Assistant Brian Hayden as the lone coach on staff at the games.
“We had a talk with Coach Hayden who was all by himself this weekend and he was basically like, ‘listen guys, I don’t have any assistant coaches, I need my older guys to take charge and do the little things that we would be able to do without thinking with three coaches there. We had to coach ourselves a little bit and step up and keep guys in control,” said middle infielder Tony Zambito, a senior.
Zambito was able to extend his team-leading hitting streak to seven games and went 7-for-12 in the series, three of his hits being doubles, according to the university’s athletic website.
“I honestly believe we should’ve been able to beat them three times, maybe the second game they were actually starting to hit,” said middle infielder Tyshaun Diaz, a sophomore. “The first game, we just played sloppy baseball to start off with, which is what killed us, both the first and third game. I honestly think the outcome of the last game should’ve been the outcome of the first and third games, so it really came down to us playing sloppy baseball in the beggining. We just need to make adjustments for.”