Baseball: Tribe takes three from Wagner

__College improves to 19-13 overall after weekend series sweep; team has won 10 of its last 12 games__

This past weekend, the Tribe baseball team faced Wagner College for a break from conference play. The College swept the series (8-5, 6-4, 14-12) and has won 10 of its last 12 games, including 14 of its last 16 in Williamsburg. The Tribe now stands at 19-13 overall and 8-4 in the CAA.

p. “I feel like we were fortunate to win all three games. We’re going to need a little better effort getting back into conference plays,” Head Coach Frank Leoni said.

p. The College faced Wagner Saturday in a double-header with the support of a huge crowd in the stands. Junior Sean Grieve started pitching for the Tribe, and senior Warrik Staines and junior Pete Vernon both entered in relief. Vernon ultimately earned the win (5-2) pitching three scoreless innings. In the first, junior catcher Tim Park registered a single and scored on a homerun from senior second baseman Brent McWhorter. Park bunted for a single in the fifth inning and senior third baseman Greg Sexton homered to left center to plate Park.

p. Wagner had a big sixth inning to tie the game at 4-4, and took a 5-4 lead in the seventh. Park scored in the bottom of the seventh to knot it again with sophomore first baseman Mike Sheridan earning the RBI. In the bottom of the eighth, junior centerfielder Paul Juliano and sophomore shortstop Lanny Stanfield both drew walks and Park was hit by a pitch to load the bases. McWhorter singled to score Juliano and Stanfield, and a single from Sheridan scored Park to give the Tribe an 8-5 victory.

p. In the second contest, the College reached the board in the bottom of the second on a Stanfield single that scored sophomore rightfielder Robbie Nickle. Sophomore catcher Jeff Wera then tripled to right center to score Stanfield and junior leftfielder Greg Maliniak. In the fourth, the Tribe took a 5-1 lead, as Wera plated sophomore centerfielder Ben Guez and Stanfield scored on a pop-out from Park. Wagner scored three more runs before the end of the seven-inning game, but it was not enough, as the Tribe won 6-4. Freshman starting pitcher Kevin Landry (4-3) recorded the win.

p. “We could have separated ourselves from them a little bit better…we didn’t do our best to put them away in the games,” Leoni said.

p. The final contest of the series was a high-scoring game for both teams, as the College earned the win 14-12. Junior starting pitcher Pat Kantakevich (3-0) recorded the win for the Tribe. Maliniak finished 4-for-5 on the day, and Sexton was 3-for-5.
“Greg Maliniak, Greg Sexton, Tim Park, Brent McWhorter McWhorter,and Mike Sheridan all had good weekends with the bat,” Leoni said.

p. The Tribe registered three runs in both the fourth and eighth innings. In the fourth, Juliano singled and Guez doubled, and sacrifice flies from Stanfield and McWhorter plated them both. Park homered to left field to give the College a 7-5 lead. In the eighth, homeruns from both Sheridan and Sexton gave the Tribe a 14-8 lead. Wagner threatened in the ninth with four runs but fell short of the win.

p. “Our starting pitching needs to be better, and at times we had some defensive lapses over the weekend as well. Our baserunning needs to improve a little bit too,” Leoni said, looking forward to future contests.

p. The College faces Liberty University in Lynchburg today at 3:00 p.m.


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