By Michael Otero
The baseball team got its season underway on Saturday, Feb. 13, in Gaffney, S.C. as it played a set of games against Limestone College. The Pioneers dropped both of those games by scores of 4-1 and 5-2.
In game one, the Pioneers plated their first and only run curtesy of three wild pitches. Limestone evened up the game in the third inning on a run-scoring single, and one inning later they seemed poised to do more damage. With the bases loaded, Limestone added one run, but the Pioneers turned a key double-play to escape the threat. Limestone scored an additional two runs in the fifth and six innings thanks to wild pitches.
Junior pitcher Jake DeCarli took the loss, his first of the year, while tossing 4.2 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out five. His counterpart, sophomore southpaw Anders DeShields, went seven frames, giving up one earned run and fanning five Pioneers.
In the second game, both teams got on the board early. After sophomore outfielder James Cohan led the game off with a single, fellow sophomore outfielder Rob Andreoli sent him home after he swiped second base. In Limestone’s half of the inning, they liked the Pioneers style of play and did their best imitation of it. After a walk and steal of second base, Limestone plated a run on a double to even the score at one.
In the top of the fifth, Andreoli connected again and notched his second RBI of the game with a double, which tied the game at two. In the fifth inning still tied at two, the Pioneer defense committed three errors which directly led to three runs; the big blow being a two-run home run by freshman infielder Chase Allen, which made it 5-2 in favor of Limestone.
Limestone got another strong outing from their starting pitcher, as senior pitcher Bryon Munsterman logged 6.1 innings and struck out eight Pioneers in the process.
Mike Gaffney and the Pioneers are back in action on Friday, Feb. 26, when they play St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas at 1:30 p.m. The Pioneers play their first home game on Tuesday, March 15, against American International College.