Into this weather came the MCLA baseball team, their white uniforms almost immediately streaked with the brown earth of the baseball diamond.
The baseball team was engaged in a doubleheader against Mass. Maritime, in the team’s first games of MASCAC conference play.
The team entered the doubleheader with a record of 8-8 and were coming off of a crushing loss to Elms, where they got trounced 9-1. The team was hoping to break the eight-game win record of the previous season, a humiliating season that the baseball team ended with a record of 8-22.
For the first game of the day, Daniel Gaines was on the mound, pitching for all seven innings. Gaines gave up seven hits for three runs.
The Trailblazer defense was in strong form in the first game, turning double-plays and snagging high hit pop-up’s.
MCLA took the lead and maintained it throughout the game.
The defense broke down briefly in the fourth inning, when MCLA led the game, 3-0, when an easy infield pop-fly dropping to the ground with no one calling the ball, leaving it to drop harmlessly to the ground and putting a runner on first.
A Mass. Maritime bunt put a man on first and second with no one out. Fans grumbled from the sidelines, at each turn of the game, expressing displeasure at each error and base gained.
The Trailblazers did not panic and with the next batter, turned a double play. Now the team stood with a man on third but two outs. The Mass. Maritime batter belted the ball, but the infield was on guard and threw him out at first.
The gathered crowed roared their approval of this sudden reversal in MCLA’s fortunes.
Sophomore Cody Weaver charged into the dug out, roaring “That’s the way you turn two, boys!”
MCLA’s batters finished the job that the defense had begun, smacking the baseball for 11 hits and five runs. Freshman Rory Slattery led the team with three hits. Weaver and freshman Chris Koch were right behind with two hits each.
The baseball team kept up the momentum and ended the game with a final score of 5-3.
The second game of the day would not go as well. Playing in the rain, Ross Miner took the bag for MCLA.
Miner pitched for all six innings of the game, taking a shelling from Mass. Maritime, giving up ten hits for eight runs. The team also committed seven errors throughout the second game.
Compounding the problem, MCLA’s bats fell silent in the second game, with only five hits throughout.
Weaver led the team in hits with two hits in the game.
The Trailblazer’s fortunes did not improve in their next game.
The team next traveled to Schnectady, NY on April 3 to play against Union College Dutchman.
The game resulted in a sound loss for MCLA, 14-8.
MCLA got off to a strong start, with Weaver bombing a home run for the team in the first inning, his very first for the season.
A variety of pitchers took the mound throughout the game, with five different pitchers stepping up for the eight-inning effort.
Joe Vaverka, Jared Gersch, and DJ Clark each pitched two innings, while Rory Slattery and Weaver each contributed an inning apiece.
Vaverka faced 15 batters himself, while Clark took on 13.
Combined, the pitchers gave up 11 hits over eight innings.
On the offensive end, MCLA put up a strong effort, with Weaver again leading the team with three hits for the night. Combined, the team totalled nine hits off of 37 at-bats for the game.
With the Mass. Maritime vicotry, the team attained nine victories, putting them over their total from last season.
The baseball team will next face Williams at home on April 9.