Rough Start: Baseball Drops Four Games in North Carolina

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Anthony Corona

The C.W. Post baseball team dropped all four games in their first action of the season in Morehead, North Carolina two weeks ago, opening their 2011 season with a 0-4 record.

The Pioneers, who were selected 3rd in the East Coast Conference Preseason Poll, had a tough schedule, driving fourteen hours on Thursday night, February 17th, to arrive in Morehead in the morning on Friday, February 18th. After practicing that same day, the Pioneers’ first game, a double header was at 2:30 p.m. against Felician College, followed by their second game at 6 p.m., against Southern Connecticut. The Pioneers dropped their opening game to Felician, losing by a score of 5-2. Post was held quiet offensively, failing to get base runners into scoring position to create runs. The Pioneers’ second game against the second-ranked team in the region, Southern Connecticut, was a much better game from a pitching standpoint, as junior Glen Hudson held the Owls to one run on three hits. The Pioneers were tied with the Owls the whole game until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Pioneers collapsed defensively, making three errors in the inning.  The Pioneer offense could not overcome the deficit and lost by a final score of 4-1.

The second day of games proved to be an improvement, offensively, for the Pioneers, but to no avail. They dropped the opening game of the day to Felician by a score of 12-6. The team was able to muster some offense and get on the board early, but the defense collapsed again late in the game. Starting pitcher Rafael Martinez had a strong outing, pitching five solid innings and holding the Golden Falcons to four hits while giving up only one earned run and striking out five batters. The nightcap would prove to be much more interesting as the Pioneers were down 4-1 going into the eighth inning. The Pioneers tied up the game, beginning with freshman Phil Loprete’s solo home run to set the tone for the Pioneer offense, followed by crucial two out hits to extend the inning. The Pioneers managed to hold the Southern Connecticut Owls hitless in the bottom of the ninth inning to take the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, the Owls loaded the bases. After freshman pitcher John Susino exited the game after one and a third scoreless innings, freshman Conner McCarthy came in to try and shut down the Owl’s offense. McCarthy got the first out with the bases remaining loaded. The next batter hit a chopper up the middle on the first pitch and, although McCarthy knocked it down, the play could not be made to throw out the runner. The Owls went on to win the game 5-4 in the tenth inning.

The Pioneers left North Carolina without any wins, but have much to look forward to in the coming weeks because of each game’s improvement in North Carolina. The Pioneers are scheduled to play three double headers next weekend.  Friday’s double header will be against Southern New Hampshire, and both Saturday and Sunday’s double headers are against nationally-ranked Franklin Pierce. The games will be held at home and take place at 12p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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