Bullets open 2016 conference play with split at Ursinus

Senior Luke Lawrence hit 5-for-10 in the Bullets' doubleheader against Ursinus.

Senior Luke Lawrence hit 5-for-10 in the Bullets’ doubleheader against Ursinus.

By Sean Brower, Contributing Writer

The Gettysburg College baseball team opened its 2016 Centennial Conference action by splitting a doubleheader against the Ursinus College Grizzly Bears in Collegeville, PA, on April 2. The Bears took the first game 7-3 and the Bullets took the nightcap 12-6.

Game one started as a back and forth affair. The Bullets opened the scoring in the top of the second, when senior Andy Kelley, who had reached on an error by Ursinus junior shortstop Vincent Terry, and then stole second base, scored on a single by senior Steve Wright. However, junior Rich Power could not hold the lead and the game was tied in the bottom of the inning, when Ursinus junior second baseman CJ Diana doubled to bring home sophomore Travis Kozark.

“It would’ve been nice to get two today, but they came out pretty well in the first game. They hit [Rich] around. We struggled with men in scoring position, but it was nice to bounce back in the second game,” said Kelley.

Power struggled with command throughout his outing. He lasted for five innings, giving up five runs, walking six, and striking out three. His offense gave him the lead back in the top of the third, when Kelley grounded out to score senior center fielder Luke Lawrence, who went a combined 5-for-10 on the day. Lawrence also made two impressive defensive plays, a catch at the fence to rob junior catcher Alex Campbell of extra bases and one or more RBI’s in the bottom of the first, as well as a sliding grab in the bottom of the sixth to take a hit away from junior designated hitter Austin Feuerman.

However, these efforts were for naught, when the Bullets lost the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, yielding four runs to the Bears. Kozark walked to start the inning and then advanced on a perfectly placed bunt single by Diana. Two batters later, Terry singled to load the bases. Senior right fielder Jay Farrell then singled to bring home Kozark and would be followed by a two RBI single by senior first baseman Christopher Jablonski, who went a combined 5-for-7 on the day, with four RBI’s, including a home run in game one. Three batters later, Feuerman walked with the bases loaded to score Farrell.

The Bullets cut the deficit in the top of the sixth, when senior Shawn Moffitt, who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and advanced to third on a single by senior pinch hitter Andrew Hourigan, scored on a groundout by junior Logan Sneed. This would be last of the offense of the game for Gettysburg, however. Despite threatening several more times, the Bullets could not capitalize on their opportunities and left eleven men on base against senior pitcher Sean Pisik, who struck out five and allowed three runs, two earned, over eight innings.

Gettysburg immediately turned things around in game two. In the top of the first, junior catcher Will Anderson doubled with two outs. Senior first baseman Henry Klimowicz

then singled him home to give the Bullets an early 1-0 lead. Two innings later, junior

shortstop John Convery and sophomore third baseman Logan Sneed cracked singles and Anderson worked a walk to load the bases with one out. Klimowicz then delivered another single to notch his second RBI of the day.

“I was on my front foot a lot the first game, popping everything up. So it was good to stay back and be able to drive something. Especially after struggling with runners in scoring position and being able to come through like that was big,” said Klimowicz, who knocked in a third run on an RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the fourth.

The biggest single blow of the game, however, came off the bat of Kelley. After Klimowicz singled to make the game 2-0 in the third and load the bases, Kelley lined a 1-1 changeup into the right center field gap to clear the bases and give the Bullets a 5-0 lead.

“Anytime you get a big hit, it’s just the best feeling ever…I put a good swing on it and Henry got a good read at first and was able to run all the way from first to home, so that was big for the team,” said Kelley.

While Kelley’s three RBI double was the team’s biggest hit, Gettysburg did more damage as a team in the top of the fourth. Convery, Lawrence, and Sneed started the frame with consecutive singles to load the bases, before Ursinus junior pitcher Connor Moriarty hit Anderson to make the score 7-3. Before the inning was over, the Bullets scored four more times. Most notably, junior designated hitter Conner Tom broke out of a prolonged slump at the plate to pick up a single and two RBI’s.

“It felt great, you know, getting back to the basics, just doing what I know best, it just feels great to get back on track,” said Tom.

Not to be lost in the Bullets’ offensive outburst was the work of sophomore pitcher Brad DeMartino, who pitched his first career complete game. He yielded six runs, walked two, and struck out five. Backed by a strong defense and plenty of offense, though, he was able to pitch out of trouble.

“I just tried to forget about those two innings that I had (when he yielded three runs in the bottom of the 3rd and three in the 6th) and just tried to keep on my rhythm, and just kept going strong,” said DeMartino.

The Bullets return to Kirchoff Field on Saturday, April 9. Come support the team, as they take on the Swarthmore College Phoenixes in a doubleheader, starting at 12:30 p.m.

 

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