Baseball continue to roll
Morgan Douglas – Sports Editor
The Owls’ baseball team is still on fire to start the season.
They are winners of three in a row, including sweeping a doubleheader against a stout Adelphi University Panthers team this past Sunday.
And it wasn’t just that the Owls swept the doubleheader, it was the way they did it, Outscoring their opponents 20-1 across the two games.
“There’s no quit in this team and I think that’s what’s going to make us successful down the line in conference play and when we get into the playoffs,” outfielder Billy Sullivan, a redshirt freshman, said.
Game one was a total blowout.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Owls scored nine runs.
Outfielder Andrew Eng, a graduate student, got the offense going with a three-run home run.
Eng now has seven home runs to lead the team, including his dramatic walk-off grand slam against Le Moyne.
The Owls would score four more times in the first inning before it was Eng’s turn to bat again, and again with two runners on.
Eng hit a double to score them both and pushed his RBI total up to five in the first inning.
Every member of the Owls starting lineup scored at least one run in the 16-0 drubbing of Adelphi in game one.
On the mound, pitcher Steve Phillips, a redshirt freshman, had all the run support he could ask ofr, but hardly needed it as he cruised through six shutout innings to earn the victory and improve his record to 6-1 on the year.
“Keep the ball rolling,” Sullivan said. “Ride the highs and fight through the lows, but right now, we’re going to ride that high and it says a lot about this team.”
Game two was a much more competitive affair.
In the top of the first inning, the Panthers got a bit of a two-out rally going and were able to scratch across a run to take an early lead.
The Owls did not blink, however, as they responded in the bottom of the first inning with three runs of their own.
For those keeping score, that accounts for 12 runs scored By the Owls’ offense in the first innings of the two games.
Infielder Tony Zambito, a graduate student, said: “It speaks to the resilience and the fact that you walk by our dugout when we’re down, you never see anybody sitting on a bucket or out of the game, everyone’s in the game, ready to go at all times.”
Once again, the Owls offense provided their starting pitcher with all the runs support they would need.
Pitcher Nick Guarino, a graduate student, had a rock-solid day on the mound and was very balanced in his methods of getting hitters out.
Guarino pitched five innings, meaning he recorded 15 outs. Five were strikeouts, five were ground outs, and five were fly ball outs.
Pitcher Tommy Hughes, a redshirt sophomore, came on in relief of Guarino and picked up his fifth save of the season after two scoreless innings.
With the 4-1 win, Guarino’s pitching record remains a perfect 7-0 for the season.
The weekend’s results improved the Owls’ record for the season to 19-6. The team has still yet to lose back-to-back games all season.
“That’s important for a championship team,” head coach Tim Shea said, “To be able to bounce back, persevere. We talk about overcoming adversity all the time. Every game is another lesson that we’re learning.”
Baseball will hit the road for a game on Wednesday, April 13, for a game with the University of Bridgeport before returning home on Thursday, April 14, for a game against Stonehill College.