By Tim Marcin
Elm Staff Writer
Leading up to a visit to Ursinus, the Washington College baseball team was sitting in a bit of a hole. It had just lost to a 4-16 Arcadia squad by a score of 10-6 and to conference foe McDaniel 16-11, both of which were home games.
As Coach Al Streelman put it, the team “[did] not [have] enough to get it done” in those games. The Ursinus doubleheader this past Saturday was an opportunity to turn things around for the Shoremen.
The first game, however, proved to be no such turning point, as WC was dropped in a 5-3 loss. Senior Chris Smith put together a solid pitching performance for the Shoremen despite the loss, going six strong innings. The Bears, however, never let go of the lead that was as steep as 5-1 in the third inning. Other highlights for the Shoremen included sophomore Ryan Normoyle going 3-4 with two rbi and freshman Sean Connole going 2-4.
After dropping their second straight Centennial Conference game, the Shoremen made a quick and strong recovery. In game two of the doubleheader, sophomore Shane Mattingly simply stumped Ursinus.
Streelman put it perfectly calling it “vintage Shane Mattingly.” Mattingly has been stellar all year with a record of 4-1 and an ERA of 2.09. He went the distance in the game, pitching nine innings, and allowing only one run while striking out 10. Even in the ninth, with a pitch count around 140 pitches, he was still able to retire the Bears in a 1-2-3 inning.
The Shoremen scored the winning run in the top of the ninth when freshman Kyle Aldrich, who went 3-3 in the game, drove in Normoyle, stroking a line drive up the middle after a hard-fought at bat. This put the Shoremen up 2-1 and that proved to be the final score. Streelman was happy with the win, calling it a “thrilling college baseball game.”
After all was said and done, the Shoremen left Ursinus with a 12-10 record (7-5 in conference). The squad looks to build on the successes of the year as the season is entering its important final stretch. So far, Normoyle and sophomore John Rolewicz, batting .407 and .405 respectively, have spearheaded the hitting for the squad.
The pitching has been led by Mattingly and Smith, a potent 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, accounting for seven of the Shoremen’s wins. Hopefully these players can help lead the squad to ever-important conference victories against Johns Hopkins and Dickinson College in the upcoming week, as every game now holds playoff implications.
The season is certainly coming down to the wire, but the Shoremen look to build on this last win to edge out the pack in a tight conference.