Shoremen baseball drops pair of opening day games

By Molly Pennington

Elm Staff Writer

Shoremen baseball played two games on Sunday, Feb. 18. The first was against the Susquehanna University River Hawks in Fredericksburg, Va. The game was held at a neutral site, as both teams were playing at Mary Washington.

Both WC and Susquehanna were slated to take on Mary Washington on Saturday. However, the weather postponed these matchups indefinitely.

This was the first meeting between the programs since 1999, in what was a 4-3 win for the River Hawks. The Shoremen and Mary Washington have a longer history, having met five times prior.

Senior pitcher Izaiah Santiago tallied up eight strikeouts over the course of the game, setting a career high, while sophomore catcher Reece Hirsh delt 11 putouts against the River Hawks.

At bat, freshman center fielder Pete Kokinis led the Shoremen with two RBIs, putting him at a .500 batting average to start off the season, and putting him on track to earn his first Shoreman of the week award.

Although they played well, the Shoremen still could not match the River Hawks and ended the game in a 4-10 loss. 

“One thing we need to improve on is limiting the big inning. What I mean by that is allowing three or more runs in one inning,” senior right fielder Cole McGee said. “Those innings happened from costly mistakes in the field or walking a few guys. If we limit those innings, I like our chances against anyone.”

The Shoremen kept up their positive energy regardless of the final score.

“Our biggest strength is our relentless pursuit of answering back. Regardless of what happened earlier in the game we know we got the talent and heart to answer back,” McGee said.

The second game in the day was against the University of Mary Washington Eagles.

This was the Eagles’ fourth game of the season, with an early record of 3-0.

Kokinis scored an early run in the top of the first inning, but the Eagles stole the lead in the bottom of the second with five runs.

By the top of the ninth inning, the Shoremen tied the game five to five. Eventually, they could not hold the Eagles, who scored at the end of the ninth inning, bringing the final score to a 5-6 loss.

It was an extremely close game between the two teams, a positive look at what may be to come in the upcoming games this season.

“We were prepared. We played against two teams who made it to regionals last year. We faced high level arms, and we were in each game just falling short to both. We would have loved to come out on top in those games, but this weekend showed the potential there is for this team. It’s going to be exciting to see how we respond,” McGee said.

Sophomore shortstop Ty Everitt still feels prepared to take on the next teams and turn around their current 0-2 record.

“A big strength was our energy and focus. We maintained high energy and focus through all 18 innings. No weaknesses,” Everitt said. “We’re going to continue to practice hard and prepare this week, and come game days this weekend we’re going to play hard and have some fun.”

The Shoremen play three games next weekend. On Friday, Feb. 23, they travel to Pennsylvania to face off against the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 24, WC will host the Winston College Phoenixes in the 2023 home opener. The teams will play a double header starting at noon.

Photo Caption: Senior pitcher Izaiah Santiago tallied up a career-high eight strikeouts during the season opener.

Photo Courtesy of WC Athletics

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