Marygrove Baseball Drops Program Opener to Northwood
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Marygrove baseball took the field for the first time in program history Monday (Mar. 2) in West Palm Beach, Fla., making history in the process by visiting the Seahawks Northwood University (Fla.) for the program-opening contest. A strong start by the Seahawks led the hosts to an 18-1 win over the Mustangs, spoiling first-year head coach Ryan Kottke and the Green and Gold’s opener.
The Seahawks moved to 14-5 on the season after earning their fifth straight win and 11th win in their last 12 outings.
The Seahawks posted a four-run first inning and never looked back behind a host of hot bats in the Monday matinee contest. Kottke tabbed freshman Daniel Bailey (Harrison Twp., Mich./L’Anse Creuse High School) as the game-one starter and the young righty started strong despite giving up four runs in the opening inning. Bailey forced the Seahawks into multiple ground balls, but the hosts were still able to plate four runs to take an early lead.
A four-run second led off a 14-run outburst over the next three innings as the Seahawks worked their way to an 18-0 lead through six. The Seahawks held the Mustangs hitless through six innings behind the arm of Cody Faulker â a lefty who started his career at NCAA Division I Kansas State before tossing a no-hitter in the 2014 NAIA World Series for Northwood (Texas).
The Mustangs were finally able to break through on Faulker when sophomore infielder Chase Younkin (Macomb, Mich./Culver-Stockton College) reached first on an error. The Seahawks’ error started a mini-rally for the Mustangs as freshman third baseman David Chung (Warren, Mich./Bishop Foley High School) moved Younkin to third on a sharp double down the left field line. Chung’s double was the first hit in program history for a Mustangs team that has slew of promising bats in the lineup.
One batter later, sophomore catcher Kyle Hartwick (Oxford, Mich./Rend Lake Community College) collected the first RBI in program history by grounding out to first base and scoring Younkin in the process.
Originally recruited as a catcher, freshman Trey Blandford (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School) was called to the mound by Kottke for relief duty in the sixth inning. The Louisville product posted a clean inning by retiring all three batters faced and picking up one punch out.
“The growth of this program is dependent on our boys maturing on the field and having experiences like this,” remarked Kottke after the game. “No player wants to go through a game like this, but it is a learning experience for our young players to build upon as we move forward this year and beyond.”
The Mustangs return to action Tuesday (Mar. 3) with a doubleheader at Ave Maria beginning with game one’s first pitch at 12 p.m. The Mustang Sports Network will cover the twinbill with a pair of live audio broadcasts on marygrovemustangs.com/live beginning at 11:50 a.m.
BASEBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected] /* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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