Baseball: Wednesday night wash

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April 14, 2011

9:34 PM

The first game William and Mary was scheduled to play this week was
cancelled, but the team might want to pretend that the second game
never happened either.

The College was originally supposed to play against West Virginia in
Williamsburg Tuesday night, but the game was cancelled due to
forecasted rain that never actually materialized. Much like the
precipitation, the College’s offense was nowhere to be found Wednesday
in a 5-1 loss to the Virginia Military Institute, which held the Tribe
to just seven hits on the night. The loss is only the fourth in the
past 16 games for the College (18-17, 9-6 CAA).

“We didn’t do much of anything offensively,” Head Coach Frank Leoni
said. “Very stale atmosphere. There wasn’t a lot of life.”

VMI struck first in the fourth inning after two singles, a fielder’s
choice and a throwing error scored a run.

The Keydets would then double their margin in the fifth after a double
and two sacrifices scored a second, but VMI really broke the game open
in the sixth when a leadoff double and two singles off sophomore
pitcher Matt Wainman scored one more. The baserunners were then bunted
over, and a two-run single by shortstop Sam Roberts extended VMI’s
lead to 5-0. The game was never close thereafter.

The Tribe’s lone bright spot at the plate was in the bottom of the
sixth. Senior shortstop Derrick Osteen singled, and a double by
freshman designated hitter Devin White put runners on second and
third. Junior first baseman Tadd Bower singled to score Osteen and
advance White to third. Sophomore left fielder Ryan Williams bunted to
get on base, but White was tagged out at home for the second out of
the inning on a play that wasn’t designed as a squeeze, according to
Leoni.

“Those are the little things that we need to take care of if we want
to win games,” Leoni said.

The Tribe had another opportunity to do damage in the inning when
Bower and Williams advanced on a wild pitch and junior right fielder
Stephen Arcure walked to load the bases for junior catcher Sean Aiken.
Unfortunately for the Tribe, Aiken lined out to end the inning and any
glimmer of hope that the Tribe would make a come back.
“We strung together some hits … we just have to get them on a more
consistent basis,” Bower said. “The cards just didn’t fall in our
favor.”

Neither team scored after the sixth, and the Tribe would manage only
one more hit on the game. Both Bower and Leoni noted the similarities
in Wednesday night’s game with the Tribe’s game last Saturday against
Longwood, saying that the team’s attitude wasn’t where it needed to
be.

“It’s a mentality. At some points, we feel like we can just roll
people,” Bower said. “We’re not that type of team.”

Leoni stressed that getting back the team’s attention to detail is the
number one goal before they play UNC-Wilmington, last year’s CAA
runner-up, in a crucial series of conference play.

“I told the guys in the locker room after the game that Wilmington’s a
better version of what we just played,” he said.
The Tribe’s three-game series against the Seahawks begins tonight in
Wilmington.

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