After losing six of their last seven games, John Carroll’s baseball team breathed a sigh of relief after sweeping Baldwin-Wallace on Saturday. Two of those six losses came from sixth ranked Heidelberg University last Thursday.
The Blue Streaks’ efforts fell just short against the Student Princes, as JCU suffered a narrow 2-0 defeat in game one and an 11-2 loss in game two after being down 3-2 in the seventh inning.
Being swept by Heidelberg is a tough pill to swallow, but the Blue Streaks proved to have a short memory as they came out gunning for two wins against Baldwin-Wallace, and they accomplished their goal. The pair of victories over the Yellow Jackets not only improves JCU’s record, but also team morale.
“It’s only natural to become frustrated over the course of a losing streak,” said junior Tom Hickey. “The important thing is to not let it get to you and pick yourself back up so you’re ready to play the next day. These wins were definitely something we needed, but the pressure is still there. We have to come ready to play every game.”
Against B-W, the Blue Streaks started game one, down by a score of 2-1 after two innings, but the Blue Streaks rallied in the third and left the Yellow Jackets scoreless. JCU scored a combined 10 runs in the third and fourth innings to make the score 11-2.
B-W battled back, but fell short only scoring two runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth to make for a Blue Streak victory with a final score of 11-5 in favor of JCU.
JCU’s starting pitcher, freshman Bobby Peltz, improved to a 3-2 record after pitching four and one-third innings and allowed only three earned runs. Sophomore Vincent Trivisonno allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning, and sophomore Robbie Belluschi closed the door on B-W, allowing no runs for the Yellow Jackets.
Senior first baseman Chris Larry went three for three at the plate, scoring and driving in two runs each. Hickey and sophomore second baseman Zach Moss had identical feats, with each going two for four with two runs and two RBIs. Senior shortstop Johnny Hastings and senior third baseman Brian Benander combined to score four runs for the Blue Streaks as well.
In game two of the doubleheader with B-W, JCU led by two runs in the third, but the Yellow Jackets cut that lead in half by scoring in the fourth inning. JCU answered by scoring four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to make for a 10-7 victory.
Again, JCU won behind the arm of a freshman starting pitcher, as Jimmy Spagna picked up his second win of the season after pitching five and two-third innings and allowing four runs. Sophomore Patrick O’Brien allowed two runs in two innings, then Belluschi bridged the gap to freshman pitcher Doug Finley, who recorded his second career save.
The top of the Blue Streaks’ batting order, which includes freshman Dan Potter, Benander, Hickey and Hastings combined to finish the day 10 for 17 with eight RBIs and seven runs scored.
“I would say the two biggest things were focus and energy from the team as a whole. Everyone was focused at every pitch and knew exactly what they had to do toget the job done,” said Moss.
With the sweep of Baldwin-Wallace, the Blue Streaks improve their record to 9-12 overall and 3-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. B-W drops to 10-12 on the season, including a 1-5 record against conference opponents.