eaders this past week, the Blue Streaks continued their winning ways by sweeping both Muskingum College and Capital University.
With the four conference wins in a row, the Blue Streaks have run their record to 18-8 on the season and 6-2 in the OAC.
On April 14, the Fighting Muskies of Muskingum and JCU had a big-time pitcher’s duel with ten innings needed before the Blue Streaks scored the winning, and only, run of the game when senior John Skomra scored the winning run on a single from freshman Ryan Pacyga.
In the later half of the day, the Blue Streaks were able to score three unearned runs and capitalize on the Fighting Muskies errors taking the game by a final of 5-3.
Last week’s OAC “Hitter of the Week” Bryan Robinett continued his dominance at the plate with a two-run homer in the third inning and finished the day going one for three with two RBIs and his fourth homerun of the season.
“One of our team’s strengths is our depth of good hitters,” Robinett said. “I’ve been fortunate to have a good couple weeks at the plate and help contribute to our success.”
Junior pitcher Michael Eden picked up his second save on the season and Chris Eggleton picked up his third win.
The Blue Streaks had two off days from competition before traveling to Bexley, Ohio on April 17 to take on the Capital Crusaders.
Yet again, JCU was able to pull off the sweep of a conference foe, winning game one by a score of 5-2, and the second game 11-10.
In game one, senior Chris Koller earned the win on the mound allowing zero runs on two hits in the last three and a third innings.
The bats were alive and well for the Blue Streaks.
Pacyga continued making contact with the ball, belting his seventh homer of the season: a two-run homer out of the park in the first inning to get the lead and they never looked back from there.
“When I’m in the batter’s box, all I really think about is trying to hit the ball hard somewhere,” said Pacyga.
Skomra, as well as junior John Hastings, kept their level of play up as both added an RBI base hit in the third.
The team as a whole had 12 total hits in the first game against the Crusaders.
In the second game, the gritty Blue Streaks again found a way.
Once again it was Skomra, Pacyga and Robinett leading the Blue Streaks. Skomra had a three-run homer in the second, while Pacyga and Robinett added to that in the fourth with RBI doubles that gave JCU a 7-1 lead.
After a five-run fourth by the Crusaders narrowed it to a one-run game, both teams hung a few more on the board and pushed the game into extra innings after being tied at nine through nine innings.
However, the Blue Streaks followed the recipe from the Muskingum series and Pacyga drove in Skomra in the top half of the 10th inning which gave JCU a one-run lead.
Eden did his thing once again on the mound sending Capital’s first three batters of the inning packing and JCU home with the win.
The back-to-back sweeps in conference play did a lot for the team’s confidence.
“Our team has a lot of momentum going into the heart of the OAC schedule with these consecutive OAC wins,” Robinett said. “We are in a good position to make a serious run for the OAC title, but we still have our work cut out for us over the next three weeks” Robinett said.
Editor’s Note: Just before this edition of The Carroll News went to print, JCU lost to Case Western Reserve University, 9-4. Log on to www.jcusports.com for details.