Baseball: College loses grip on postseason berth

Last season, with a chance at the playoffs on the line, William and Mary dropped three games at Hofstra to end its season.

It may be a new year and a new team, but for the Tribe, it is the same story.

The Tribe (22-17, 6-9 CAA) dropped to 2-13 on the road after getting swept in a three-game series at Hofstra (15-20, 6-6) this weekend.

“We just didn’t show up this weekend,” Head Coach Frank Leoni said. “It’s one of those funny things about college baseball; our guys and our coaching staff got out-coached and out-played this weekend.”

The Tribe received an outstanding start Friday from sophomore pitcher Matt Davenport, who tied a career-high 8.1 innings in the outing. Davenport allowed three runs and racked up nine strikeouts in a 4-3 loss.

Freshman infielder Jackson Shaver and freshman outfielder Derek Lowe led the College with a pair of hits Friday night. Shaver drove in the Tribe’s first run with an RBI single in the top of the second, tying the game at 1-1. Hofstra put up another run in the bottom half of the frame, but the College answered with a run off a sacrifice fly from junior shortstop Derek Osteen.

A solo homerun by sophomore catcher Chris Forsten in the top of the fourth gave the Tribe a 3-2 lead, but the Pride evened things up with a run in the bottom of the sixth. The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth, when a two-out, walk-off single from Hofstra first baseman Ethan Paquette gave the Pride the win.

Freshman starter Brett Koehler gave up six runs in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday in a 16-3 defeat. Sophomore first baseman Tadd Bower went two-for-four in the ballgame, scoring a run on a fourth-inning RBI-double by senior catcher Chris Jensen.

It was too little too late, as the Pride tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 12-1 lead. The College was able to add two more runs in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough as they dropped the first game of the doubleheader.

“We came out extremely flat on Saturday,” Bower said. “They were crushing the ball, and we weren’t executing.”

The Tribe got off to a good start in game two, drawing four walks to lead off the ballgame. But three bases-loaded strikeouts left three runners stranded, and a 1-0 lead quickly turned to a 2-1 deficit thanks to a two-run homerun given up by freshman starter Brett Goodloe in the bottom of the inning.

Lowe led off the bottom of the fourth with a single. He then stole second and scored on an error, cutting the Pride’s lead to 3-2. But, once again, Hofstra responded with three more runs off Goodloe.

In the top of the fifth, Bower led things off with a homerun to right-centerfield. Jensen was hit by a pitch and later scored on an RBI groundout from Forsten, but that was as close as the Tribe would get, falling 6-4.

The weekend marked the third time the College has been swept on the road this season. The Tribe dropped a hard-fought series against No. 2 Louisiana State earlier in the season and were swept at conference leader James Madison two weekends ago.

“It was similar to the weekend at JMU,” Bower said. “We thought we had made our adjustments after that series, but our approaches were pretty far off this weekend. We pretty much gave them all three games.”
The Tribe will look to get back on track Wednesday against George Washington, before returning home this weekend to take on Northeastern.

“We are fighting for our lives now,” Leoni said. “Hopefully we can get this thing turned around at home and get going again down the stretch.”


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