Baseball continues winning ways
Morgan Douglas – Sports Editor
It may be beginning to sound like a bit of a broken record, but the Owls’ baseball team is in the middle of a really good season.
Having won six of their last seven games, the Owls’ record is now an impressive 22-7, including an 8-1 victory at home against the Stonehill College Skyhawks this past Thursday on a lovely afternoon.
The Skyhawks struck first, getting a run across against starting pitcher Steve Phillips, a redshirt freshman, in the top of the first inning, but that would be all Phillips would allow in his outing Before clamping down and continuing what has been a strong campaign.
“I had the fastball and the change-up working,” Phillips said. “My curve and slider weren’t really there today, but you’ve got to work with what you got going on each day. So, it’s just something to overcome for me at work.”
The 1-0 deficit was not much of a daunting task for the Owls’ potent offense to overcome, as they swiftly responded in the bottom of the first inning.
With one out and Outfielder Billy Sullivan, a redshirt freshman on base, it was time for outfielder Andrew Eng, a graduate student, to do what he’s been doing all year long.
Eng hit a two-run shot of a home run to left-center field for his team-leading eighth homer of the year to give the Owls a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.
“Andy (Eng), when he’s on, he’s one of the best hitters in the conference, region and probably Division II baseball,” Sullivan said. “He’s seeing the ball well right now, he’s rolling with it, and it takes a lot of pressure off everyone else’s shoulders knowing that he is going to get it done.”
The Owls would tack on another run in the frame to give Phillips the advantage he needed in order to ground the aggressive Skyhawks.
It was apparent from their approach that the Skyhawks were trying to match the Owl’s propensity for making balls take flight.
Seemingly every Stonehill player who would come up to bat was swinging for the fences, and time after time they came up empty.
They were trying to send the ball 400 feet every time,” Phillips said. “You’ve just got to pitch around the barrel. They caught a couple barrels. Nothing really happened out of it, so just missing the barrel, that was the game plan.”
In the bottom of the third, Sullivan homered to extend the lead to 4-1.
“It felt pretty good,” Sullivan said. “These don’t come around too often. It’s never really my approach, to go big fly, but when I saw it go over the fence, there was a definite sigh of relief to settle in and be able to get going down the home stretch.”
The Owls’ offense scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap off an 8-1 victory.
Phillips picked up the win and his record for the season is 7-1 to go along with a cool 3.12 earned run average as part of an Owls pitching staff that has been consistently strong all year.
“It’s great,” Phillips said. “The staff has a lot of confidence. We have a lot of depth. A lot of guys are catching fire right now. That’s what counts. That’s what matters.”
The Owls will look to keep on winning when they take on Le Moyne on Tuesday, April 19, at home.
“I think we’re playing good ball. Our best ball? Not yet,” Sullivan said. “I think at the right time, you’re going to see something really special with this team.”