Wed, Mar. 23, 2011 - [Baseball]
The Loras College baseball team played eight games over a six day stretch in central Florida from March 16-21. They posted wins in three of those eight games, lost three times as the visiting team as part of a walk-off scenario, and also dropped four of their five games by a total of six runs. Here's a game-by-game break down of their trip.
Wednesday, March 16
St. Norbert 13, Loras 1
The day started early in Dubuque as the Duhawks traveled to the Quad Cities Airport, settled into central Florida, and made their way to the field for a nine inning game against St. Norbert College. The Green Knights jumped on the purple and gold early, scoring nine runs in the first three innings to bounce starter Kyler Laurie from the game. Just two of the seven runs against Laurie were earned, but the damage was done. Kendall Paluch and Greg Farrey also took the mound for the Duhawks that opening night. Clay Henricksen scored Loras' lone run on an Austin Brown sacrifice in the fourth inning.
Thursday, March 17
Loras 7, McDaniel 2
Loras bounced back relatively quickly with a Game 1 win over McDaniel, 7-2. The Duhawks scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend a 3-2 lead to 7-2. Two runs in the top of the second inning on an Eric DeSousa single gave the Duhawks the lead for good. Joe Walker singled, stole second, and then was driven in by Calvin Rea to make it 3-1 after three innings. The Green Terror answered with a single run in the bottom of the fifth before the Duhawks scored those four insurance runs in the top of the seventh - thanks to a bases-clearing double by Calvin Rea and another double by Austin Brown.
On the mound, Kevin Moriarty earned win #1 on the year, going 4.1 innings, giving up just one earned run, walking two and striking out one. Ben Cottrell and Spencer Radabaugh combined for the other 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.
McDaniel 5, Loras 3
Game 2 of the doubleheader saw the Duhawks come back to tie a back-and-forth game in the bottom of the sixth before the Green Terror scored two runs in the seventh to win.
Starter Eric Rife allowed eight hits and three earned runs but gave the Duhawks a chance to win the game by not walking a batter and striking out three before he was lifted in the fifth inning. McDaniel added six hits against the bullpen and pushed across the eventual winning runs against Cole Boge thanks to a two-out rally in the top of the seventh after the first two hitters made outs.
Friday, March 18
Benedictine 5, Loras 4
More late-inning offense by the opponents kept the Duhawks in the loss column on Friday after a solid start offensively, defensively, and on the mound. Loras scored all four of their runs in a busy third inning that included RBI hits by Clay Henricksen, Joe Walker, and Austin Brown.
Jeremy Gerardy was strong through 6.2 innings, allowing just five hits and two earned runs. Nick Battalini got Gerardy out of the seventh inning and struck out the first batter of the eighth before a walk and a single came around to score tying the game at 4-4.
Loras' top half of the ninth inning went quickly offensively. The Eagles used an infield error to get the winning run on base and then stole a base and drove in the run with a single to complete the come-from-behind win in the bottom of the ninth.
Saturday, March 19
Loras 18, D'Youville 0
With a win and a couple of heartbreaking losses in their rear view mirror, the Duhawks jumped all over D'Youville in the first inning of their first game of the doubleheader with the Spartans. Loras hung 13 runs on the board and cruised to an 18-0 win.
Shortstop Mike Pudlo and first baseman BJ Juergens each had four hits and combined to drive in eight runs and score five more. Other multi-hit games came from Clay Henricksen, Austin Brown, and Kyle Barton. Every starter recorded at least one hit as the Duhawks held D'Youville to just two of their own.
Ben Cottrell threw five innings, struck out eight and walked two while giving up just one hit to earn the win. Jake Norton threw the final two innings struck out four while giving up the other hit.
D'Youville 7, Loras 6 (8 Inn.)
Through the first 13 innings of baseball against D'Youville, Loras conceded just seven hits. Over the final two innings, they allowed six hits, including five in the bottom half of the seventh inning of the doubleheader to force extra innings.
Loras controlled the first six innings of Game 2, mounting a 6-2 lead thanks to multi-hit and multi-RBI games from Austin Brown and Connor Reilly.
Loras nearly survived a four-error effort defensively through the first six innings, but defensive mistakes in the seventh and eighth cost them three unearned runs and a win in Game 2. Cole Boge started the game and gave up nine hits and struck out five in 6.2 innings. Kyler Laurie came out of the bullpen to face seven batters, give up two hits, walk one and eventually take the loss in his inning of work.
Sunday, March 20
Loras 1, Washington & Jefferson 0
With a bad taste in their mouth from the Game 2 loss on Saturday, the Duhawks found themselves in another heart-pounding game on Sunday. This time Loras came out on top with a slim 1-0 victory after Kendall Paluch threw a difference-making seven innings on the mound in his young Loras career for his second win.
The Joliet native struck out nine Presidents and allowed just five hits in seven innings of work. Paluch has struck out team high 14 batters in his 12 innings of work so far, and matched Washington & Jefferson senior starter Jordan Zivoder every step of the way.
Two of his strikeouts came in innings when Paluch also made key defensive plays. In the Presidents' second inning, Paluch picked a runner off first base, gave up a triple, but then struck out a batter to get out of trouble. Then in the sixth, Paluch threw to second on a sacrifice bunt attempt to get the lead runner before getting another strikeout and then groundout to end that Washington & Jefferson threat.
Loras scored their run (unearned) in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mike Canevello singled to start the inning, was bunted to second by Clay Henricksen, and then knocked in by BJ Juergens after an error by the Presidents' shortstop.
Kevin Moriarty worked the eighth inning and gave up one hit and struck out one and Spencer Radabaugh worked the ninth to earn the save, striking out one.
Monday, March 21
Hope 6, Loras 5
Another lead slipped through the Duhawks' fingers in the Florida finale on Monday. Loras built a 5-3 lead after six innings on a Hope College team that started their trip 3-0 entering Monday's game.
The Duhawks held Hope to one run in the bottom of the first inning with an inning-ending double play and just the lone unearned run against starter Kyler Laurie and the defense after two hits and an error. It took the Duhawks till the fifth inning to push across their first run to make it a 1-1 game. BJ Juergens drove home Mike Pudlo for the Duhawks' first run. Hope answered with a sacrifice fly to quickly reclaim the lead, 2-1 in the next half inning.
Loras answered with more unearned runs in the top of the sixth. After two outs, Loras benefited from a walk by Pudlo, a single by Canevello, a walk by Henricksen, and a throwing error by the Dutchmen's defense to score four total runs and take a 5-2 lead.
The Dutchmen quickly answered with a run to make it 5-3 after six innings. The game remained that way until the bottom of the ninth.
The 2-3-4 hitters were due up for Hope. The first of those lined out before catcher Jon Ponte hit a solo homerun off reliever Jeremy Gerardy to make it 5-4. A single, double, and walk later the bases were loaded with one out. Third baseman Eric Dawson plated the Dutchmen's final two runs with a shallow single to steal the win from Kyler Laurie and the Duhawks.
And so the Duhawks return home from sunny Florida 5-6 overall, with a back-and-forth, up-and-down trip in their rear view mirrors. The Iowa Conference season is slated to begin on March 25 at Central College (9-3). The Duhawks will mix in four more non-conference games along the way as they try to return to the IIAC Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in mid-May.
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If you're looking for the players' perspective on the 2011 season, you can follow the Loras College BaseBlog all season HERE. Kyler Laurie and Kevin Harlander will be submitting their thoughts throughout the 2011 campaign.