Blue Jays break away from Lions in sixth inning

The College’s baseball team beat Elizabethtown College 9-4 last Tuesday, in a rebound from its 8-4 loss to the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays last Monday. The College now stands at 11-4.

In the win, senior designated hitter Brian Hickey led the way, going three-for-three with an RBI.

Senior second baseman Chris Schoonhoven had two RBIs and senior shortstop Steve Czajka stole two bases, making him an even eight-for-eight on stolen bases for the year.

Junior starting pitcher Matt Szustowicz earned his first win of the year, throwing seven innings and giving up two runs on seven hits, striking out six and walking four.

In the game against Johns Hopkins, the Lions were neck-in-neck with the Blue Jays until the sixth inning, when the Blue Jays jumped into the lead. Freshman infielder Andrew Cosgrove called the inning the turning point of the game.

“We fended them off for five innings and it was a dagger in the heart every time they came back,” Cosgrove said.

The Lions were still able to add a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-4. However, the Blue Jays added three more insurance runs, one in the seventh inning and two in the eighth inning, raising the lead to 8-4.

“We fought hard but not hard enough,” freshman catcher Gerard Haran said. “We should’ve hit better but you have to give Hopkins credit they made big plays in the infield and outfield. We could’ve beaten them and we are maybe even better then them.”

Lions junior Vincent Petrillo, who is 2-0 this season with a 1.50 ERA, kept the game close by going pitch-for-pitch with Blue Jays senior Adam Josephart, who is 0-0 with a 10.12 ERA. Their duel continued and the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Lions took the lead after Josephart threw a wild pitch with men on first and third, allowing Haran to score. The Blue Jays tied the score, however, with two runs of their own in the top of the fifth.

The rest of the game continued at a consistent pitch-for-pitch or run-for-run pace.

While the Lions regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, making the score 3-2, the Blue Jays met the score at 3-3 in the sixth inning, when, with one out, senior left fielder Rob Morrison singled to right, stole second and scored on junior center fielder Paul Winterling’s single to center.

The Blue Jays returned to the lead when Winterling scored on a wild pitch making the score 4-3, and then tacked on another run scoring junior first baseman Mike Durgala to make it 5-3 in favor of the Blue Jays.

“We could’ve beaten them,” Cosgrove said. “They aren’t better than us. We didn’t finish what we started and fell off at the end. We have the potential to get the point where they are at now.”

“Vinny pitched decently,” Lions head coach Rick Dell said. “We just couldn’t turn them off. Every time we scored, they scored. We just didn’t pitch well enough to beat them. We didn’t hit our spots,” he said.

“You can’t give the leadoff guy a free pass and let him score on wild pitches. You have to throw into a cup not a bathtub.” Dell said pitching is going to be the key to their success.

Petrillo (2-1) pitched five and two-thirds innings giving up five runs, all earned, five hits, four walks and three strikeouts.

For the Blue Jays, Josephart (1-0) also pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, three of them earned, five hits, three walks and no strikeouts. Hickey led the way for the Lions, getting three of the Lions’ six hits, and had an RBI.

“Brian’s been hitting well lately,” Dell said. “He’s a senior and has the experience because he has been there before. He hit well over spring break then struggled a little but now is hitting well again.”

The Lions will play a rescheduled game against Richard Stockton College on Monday, April 5 and will play Albright College on April 6 and Rutgers University-Camden on April 8.