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Baseball: College drops all four games on last leg of West Coast trip

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March 17, 2016

2:40 PM

William and Mary continued its West Coast road trip over the weekend, facing off against California State Northridge and Connecticut in Northridge, Calif. The Tribe (6-10) failed to win any of the four games, giving up double-digit run totals in three of them. The College has now lost eight of its last nine, a discouraging run after a 5-2 start to the season.

The Tribe’s troubles began Thursday with an 11-3 drubbing at the hands of the Matadors (12-3). Sophomore second baseman Cullen Large gave the College the initial 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first, but sloppy defense and ineffective pitching turned the tides a few innings later.

CSU-Northridge evened the score in the bottom of the third with a one-out triple followed by a sacrifice fly, then plated four more runs — all unearned — in the fourth to break the game open. The Tribe committed two errors and a balk in the inning as sophomore right-handed starter Michael Toner was relieved after just three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs — only one earned — on five hits and a walk.

The Tribe’s troubles began Thursday with an 11-3 drubbing at the hands of the Matadors (12-3). Sophomore second baseman Cullen Large gave the College the initial 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first, but sloppy defense and ineffective pitching turned the tides a few innings later.

The bullpen did not fare much better, giving up six runs in the bottom of the sixth, four coming home on a grand slam by Matador catcher Albee Weiss, giving CSU-Northridge an insurmountable 11-1 lead. William and Mary got two runs back in the ninth, but a 10-run rally was not in the cards.

Things went from bad to worse for the College Friday, as the Huskies (8-4) handed the Tribe a disheartening 18-1 loss. Junior right-handed starter Nick Brown did not reach the fifth inning, allowing five runs — four earned — on six hits in four and two-thirds innings, saddling his third loss of the campaign.

When Brown departed, the UConn lead stood at 5-0. Over the next inning and a third 10 Huskies crossed the plate, the College countering with a single run in the bottom of the fifth. Once again the sixth inning was the Tribe’s downfall, UConn scoring nine times in the top half of the frame, sending 11 batters to the plate. Sophomore right-hander Charlie Fletcher took the majority of the damage, giving up seven runs including another grand slam. The Huskies tacked on three more runs over the next two innings, bringing the final score to 18-1.

The rematch with UConn Saturday morning was a much tighter affair, neither team scoring until the sixth. Senior right-handed pitcher Mitchell Aker and the Huskies’ Tim Cate dueled for much of the contest, but neither starter ultimately recorded a decision. Aker tossed seven strong innings, striking out seven while allowing only two unearned runs and two hits.

When Brown departed, the UConn lead stood at 5-0. Over the next inning and a third 10 Huskies crossed the plate, the College countering with a single run in the bottom of the fifth. Once again the sixth inning was the Tribe’s downfall, UConn scoring nine times in the top half of the frame, sending 11 batters to the plate.

The College broke the deadlock in the top of the sixth, senior first baseman Charley Gould coming home on an UConn error. The lead did not last as two Tribe errors helped the Huskies plate two runs in the bottom of the seventh. William and Mary knotted the score at two apiece in the ninth, senior center fielder Josh Smith getting hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, stealing second, then scoring on sophomore left fielder Ryan Hall’s two-out single.

Sophomore right-hander Robert White could not send the game into extra innings, however, as UConn right fielder Troy Stefanski walked off the Tribe with a one-out single following a leadoff double. White was saddled with a 3-2 loss.

William and Mary’s road trip concluded with an 11-7 loss to the Matadors Saturday afternoon. Junior right-handed starter Dan Powers lasted just one inning, allowing six runs — four earned — on four hits after junior right fielder Charles Ameer opened the scoring in the top half of the first when he came home on a wild pitch.

After the lead grew to 8-1 in the third, the College offense finally came alive with six runs — all unearned — in the top of the fourth, Hall bringing home three of the runs with a bases-clearing double.

CSU-Northridge’s bullpen took over the game from there, shutting out the Tribe over the final four and two-thirds innings, with the Matadors’ bats adding an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the seventh. With the College’s pitching staff depleted, Ameer was sent to the mound and pitched a scoreless eighth, but William and Mary could not muster another ninth inning comeback and fell 11-7.

The Tribe returns to action Tuesday, facing off against Norfolk State at Plumeri Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About Author

  • Josh Luckenbaugh

Flat Hat Sports Editor Josh Luckenbaugh '18 is a sophomore from Leesburg, VA, majoring in English.