Maybe it was the sunny weather or the fact that the Don’s Baseball team was finally on their own turf, but the team came through with a double-header sweep on the Benedetti Diamond Field on Sunday against the UC Davis Aggies. Both games were a great combination of quality bat performance, solid pitching, and perfect lineup runs. The first game ended with a score of 6-2 and the second, 8-4. These two wins also broke the 0-5 loss streak the Dons have been experiencing.
The first game, with a 261 person turn-out, started off at a good pace, both teams showed good offensive and defensive skills. Junior Aritz Garcia hit a double in the second inning to get the game going, putting USF in the lead. The score continued to go in favor of the Dons in the fourth inning when the umpire called a balk on Davis’ pitcher, sending Junior Nik Balog home. Garcia was also sent home in the sixth inning, making the score 4-2, Dons.
And in the final inning, every player up to bat succeeded in contributing to finalize the score at 6-2.
In the second game, optimism was hard to find due to Davis’ consistent lead that started in the first inning, 2-0, and continued into the next two innings until Senior Stephen Yarrow hit a double, bringing in Senior Pete Lavin and Sophomore Jason Mahood. This play not only changed the mood of the game for the fans in the bleachers, but it apparently had an affect on the players as well, because from that point on it was hit after hit after hit. The
Don’s lineup proved their talents by advancing another six runs, four of them taking place in the seventh inning.
Travis Higgs initiated it all in the seventh inning by hitting an RBI double. Junior Ted LeMasters followed, hitting a single and bringing Higgs home. Junior Adam Clear was next to bat with the bases loaded again. With two strikes already counting against him, he hit a double, putting USF in the lead. At this point in the game, it was as though the players were not even playing to win anymore, but rather keeping up with their fellow teammates. The hits kept coming when Connor Bernatz was sent home by a base hit by Yarrow. In the eighth inning, Mahood hit a 2 RBI double, 8-4. Victory.
Starting as a ‘nail-biter’ of a game, the USF Dons really pulled through with a great win for the second game, ending in 17 hits and 0 errors. The nine players in the starting lineup each ended the game with base hits, and although not always making it home, managed to have a runner on base every inning. Although the game seemed to have plenty of turning points and great plays, it was easy to say Clear’s double, putting the Dons in the lead, was unbeatable.
Let’s say that this could be the turning point in the season for the USF Men’s Baseball team. Ending the weekend with their first two wins in 2011 and really displaying what great defense and offense this team has to offer, it’s going to be hard to expect any less of them in their future games, regardless of weather and location.
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