Baseball throws curveball to preseason expectations

By Patrick English '15

While other students relaxed on Spring Break, the Hamilton baseball team started its season in Florida. The team played thirteen games over nine days, including six different doubleheader sessions. They got off to a great start with 11-3 and 8-3 wins against Framingham State. Tim Burke ’16 and Gabe Klein ’13 both went 2 for 3 and scored 3 runs while Lukas Bridenbeck ’13 went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs in the first game. Alex Pachella ’15 pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs despite eight hits.

The team went on to split double headers with SUNY-Plattsburgh, Trinity College, Carroll University and Colby College, while only losing both games once, against Allegeheny Unviersity. “In four double headers in which we dropped the first game, we were able to bounce back with game two wins. This showed great resilience by our team to not give up against anyone,” said Klein. They finished the Florida trip with a record of 6-7. Highlights included a six-hit doubleheader for Tyler Reinhold ’15 against Carroll University, a 3-for-3 game with a double and 2 RBI for Zack Becker ’16 against Colby. Cole Dreyfuss ’16 had a strong outing on the mound against one of the NESCAC’s best teams, Trinity. He allowed two runs on just two hits, walked five and struck out five over six innings. “Our starting pitching was tremendous with each starter striving to be better than the next. We have been preaching a team first mentality and I think the team is really buying into it. As long as we continue to gain trust in each other, the sky is the limit for this team,” Klein said.

After the trip to Florida, the Continentals returned north for a three-game series at Wesleyan to open NESCAC play. Hamilton dropped the first game, 5-1, as they failed to string hits together against one of the NESCAC’s stronger pitchers, Nick Cooney. Despite eight hits, they left 11 on base over the course of the game.

They had no shortage of runs in the doubleheader on Saturday, losing the first game 10-6, but winning the second one 7-6. In the first game, Hamilton put together four runs in the top half of the third for an early 4-1 lead, capitalizing on two fielding errors. However, Wesleyan responded with six runs in the bottom half, including a two-run single by Cimino. Hamilton got it to 7-6 in the top of the fourth including an RBI and a single by Reinhold. However, the Cardinals’ offense proved too much for the Continentals, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the sixth inning to win the game 10-6.

In the second game, Hamilton was finally able to pull together a win. Dreyfuss (3-0) pitched six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and striking out three. Tommy Moriarty ’14 closed out the game well, pitching three innings allowing only two hits and no earned runs for his third save on the season.

On the offensive side, Klein went 3 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI, and Joe Jensen ’15 went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Hamilton strung together three run innings in the first with Klein’s 3-run homer and in the fifth with hits from four different players. The 7-3 lead established in the fifth was just enough for the pitching and defense to hold, as they allowed three more runs to win the game 7-6.

As Klein explained, the team is really starting to come together and execute as a whole. “The win in our final game really solidified a belief in all the guys that we can compete against any team and win. We were the better team in all three games, but we didn’t execute in the first two. We are a young team, but everyone is learning that if we focus for a full game and execute our game plan, we will win.”

The season continues with doubleheaders at Tufts on Saturday and Sunday. “We are looking forward to taking down another NESCAC opponent, as we have already defeated Colby, Trinity and Wesleyan. We lost a tough extra inning game to Utica last year in the JRC so we are definitely seeking revenge” Klein said.

Coming up on Tuesday, April 9, the Continentals will take on the Utica College Pioneers in the 26th annual Jackie Robinson Classic played at home on Royce Field. Utica College comes into the game with a 1-7 record. The Continentals look to have a strong performance in their first home game, after starting with a long stretch on the road.


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