A windy Saturday afternoon welcomed back the baseball alumni to Schweickert Field for the final double header on the John Carroll University regular season schedule. The visiting Marietta College Pioneers came into the double header trailing the Blue Streaks in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings by only two games.
Splitting the double header helped JCU stay ahead of Marietta in the final parts of the regular season, dropping game one 0-5 and winning the second 2-1.
The double header also marked Senior Day for the seven graduating from JCU baseball.
Junior pitcher Aaron Lapaglia got the nod for game number one, going seven innings and giving up 11 hits and three earned runs. The right-hander strike out seven in his campaign before senior Tyler Ferretti came on in relief.
John Carroll only managed to grab eight hits in the opening game, led by junior first baseman Tyler Gentile (2-4) and senior Mark Huddle (2-4). Both Gentile and Huddle are ranked in the top five for the OAC win batting average. Gentile now stands third with a .405 average while Huddle is not far behind in fifth with a .403 mark.
The 0-5 loss was helped by OAC leading RBI earner senior Ryan Hanahan and starting pitcher junior Christian Herstine for Marietta. Hanahan went 2-4 with an RBI in game one while Herstine went the distance for a complete game shutout by only giving up eight hits and earning eight strikeouts. The loss drops Lapaglia to 4-1 on the year.
Game two would prove to be much different for the Blue and Gold. Senior pitcher Drew Doring made a memorable day for himself, going the distance while only giving up three hits. Doring improves to an OAC leading 9-0 record and to a leading 82 strike outs in the conference with three in the game against Marietta.
Doring held a no-hitter through the sixth for the Blue Streaks, but struggled early. Command issues led to Doring walking the first two batters for Marietta and junior Tyler Packanik brought in the lone run for Marietta on a fielder’s choice single. The run coming in the first would be the only one for the Pioneers who held John Carroll to two scores in the second game.
Tied at one, junior David Crowley lined a one-out triple to put the go ahead runner aboard. Two batters later, sophomore James Molnar came through with a single to score Crowley and take the lead in the seventh. That was all the run support Doring needed to finish off the game and secure a 2-1 win for the home Blue Streaks in game number two.
Crowley, Molnar and junior Jacob Schriner all went 2-3 in game number two. Senior Mark Huddle also managed to reach base in both games of the double header, meaning the senior has reached base in 31 games this season; the longest streak of the team. Sabatino is second on the team, reaching base in 22 straight games and extends to a 22 game hitting streak.
JCU finishes 7-7 at home this year and tied for second in the OAC.
Editor’s Note: The Blue Streaks returned to action on Wednesday, April 29 against cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University for a double-header. Head to jcusports.com for a full box score and game recap.