Wed, Apr. 3, 2013 - [Baseball]
By Jim Naprstek, Assistant Sports Information Director
April 1, 2013
April 3, 2013
After fighting through the weather and a number of reschedulings, the Duhawks finally kicked off Iowa Conference play in 2013 Monday, April 1, in Pella, Iowa. The Dutch, who were the 2012 Iowa Conference regular season champions, were picked in the preseason to finish third in the conference standings. For the Duhawks, who have been stifled in the past seasons from the Iowa Conference Tournament, started off their season with a bang, defeating the Dutch, 11-0 and 8-6.
Senior Mike Pudlo led the charge, going 3-for-4 from his leadoff spot. Will Petrosky would throw seven innings of three hit ball to earn his first victory and first shutout of the year. Petrosky struck out eight on the day. In the "night-cap", it would be Ben Cottrell, who came out of the bullpen, who would record the victory for the Duhawks. Cottrell threw four innings of three-hit ball, including six strikeouts, and only surrendered a single run.
The win puts Loras in a great position heading into the rest of their conference schedule.
In what used to be considered a conference matchup, the Duhawks visited the Cornell Rams for non-conference meeting. After their departure from the Iowa Conference following the 2011-12 academic year, Cornell remained a part of the Duhawks' schedule this year following the scheduling shuffle.
Getting the start for Loras was Jake Norton, who came in with a 2-0 record. Norton got off to a rocky start, surrendering four runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Cornell worked their leadoff man on base by way of a single, freshman Lucas Jacque gunned him out trying to steal second. The Rams would not let this deter them however, as they fired off four more hits, resulting in four runs.
It looked as though the Duhawks would respond right away in the top of the second, as senior Cody Richter led off with a bomb that one-hopped the left field wall. Junior Eric DeSousa would advance Richter to third by way of a single to right field, but Loras would be unable to capitalize as Jacque popped out and sophomore Adam Kennedy struck out, leaving Richter and DeSousa on base.
The offense would come alive just one inning later, starting with junior Mark Jablonski who led off with a walk and then quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch. Junior Mike Pudlo would rifle a single to center field, pushing Jablonski to third base. Senior Mike Canevello scorched a line drive down the left field line for a double, scoring Jablonski and Pudlo. The Duhawks would tack on four more runs in the inning to take a 6-4 lead. However the lead would not last.
Over the next two innings, Cornell would add on five more runs, which Loras could not recover from. With the lead standing at 9-6, the Rams continued to pour it on in the bottom of the 6th. After loading the bases with three straight singles, Loras turned to freshman Nick Petruzzi to slow the bleeding. However, Petruzzi walked the four batters he faced before Coach Tebon turned the reigns over to junior Donny Baran, hoping that he could slow the bleeding. Baran would get the Duhawks out of the inning, but not before four more runs would cross the plate.
"We didn't swing the bats real well, we didn't pick up the ball real well, and we didn't pitch real well, and that's how you get beat by eleven runs," Coach Tebon added.
Needing two runs to keep the game alive, the Duhawks were unable to get the offense going in the top half of the 7th, ending the game 17-6.
"We gotta flush this game and move on. It's one game, its not like it counts as 10 losses," Tebon said, "Maybe this will be a wakeup call for this team and they'll understand that they can't just show up and expect to win."
The Duhawks will host the Simpson College Storm this weekend who sits at 5-8 overall and 1-3 in conference. They did manage to steal a win from their opening conference series against Wartburg, proving that anyone can win on any day. With the day off tomorrow, expect Tebon and his coaching staff to prepare their players for a big weekend.
"Simpson's always a tough club with some good hitters. Our pitchers are going to have to throw real well. They're going to be very competitive games and if we don't pitch well, play defense well, and score some runs, we're not going to get a 'W'."