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AVE MARIA, Fla. — Marygrove baseball hit the diamond for day two of their inaugural campaign with a doubleheader at Ave Maria University (AMU)Â on Tuesday (Mar. 3) in Ave Maria, Fla. The host Gyrenes came from behind to topple the Mustangs in both games, earning 4-1 and 9-5 wins, respectively, to move to 8-12 on the season. The pair of losses drops the Mustangs to 0-3 on the young season.
GAME ONE â Ave Maria 4, @MGroveBASEBALL 1
Freshman lefty Jacob Baker (Berkley, Mich./Berkley High School) got the ball in game one Tuesday and put forth an impressive effort in his first collegiate start. Baker tossed six innings of four-run, six-hit ball to give the Mustangs offense a chance in the opening tilt of the twinbill.
Before Baker toed the rubber, sophomore outfielder Raleigh Wilson (Harrison Twp., Mich./West Texas College) came around to score on a David Chung (Warren, Mich./Bishop Foley High School) sac fly in the top of the first. Wilson led the game off with a double and advanced to third on a Gyrene error to setup the Chung sacrifice.
The first-inning run was all the Mustangs offense could bring across as the Green and Gold were shut down the rest of the way. Starting pitcher Andrew Steele went the distance for the Gyrenes, retiring 10 Mustangs while giving up two hits in the opener to lead the hosts to a 4-1 pitchers’ duel victory.
Chase Younkin (Macomb, Mich./Culver-Stockton College) recorded the other Mustang hit outside of Wilson’s first-inning double by dropping a timely bunt down the third base line.
GAME TWO â Ave Maria 9, @MGroveBASEBALL 5
The Mustangs’ bats came alive in the second game, posting three runs on three hits in a thrilling first inning. A sophomore middle infielder, Younkin highlighted the opening inning with a single-turned-four-bagger after the Gyrenes posted a pair of errors on the play. The sophomore drove in fellow middle infielder Jon Weatherspoon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron High School) on the play to give the Mustangs an early 2-0 lead.
Kyle Hartwick (Oxford, Mich./Rend Lake CC) doubled to left and was later moved to third off of a Josh Barnes (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair High School) single through the left side. Hartwick scored one batter later as senior infielder Chris Gittleman (Windsor, Ontario/Trinity Christian College) hit a sac fly to center field to end the Mustangs three-run first frame.
The Mustangs extended their lead to 4-0 on a Younkin RBI single that scored Wilson, but the Gyrenes answered with three runs of their own in the home half to cut the Green and Gold’s lead to 4-3 after three innings of play in the seven-inning contest. The teams would exchange runs from there as the Mustangs held onto a lead until the Gyrenes knotted the game up in the bottom of the fifth, 5-5.
The Gyrenes capitalized on a young Mustangs squad late by posting a four-run sixth inning to comeback and beat the Green and Gold by four, 9-5.
Freshman righty Ryne Underwood (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School), the Mustangs game-two starter, was solid for head coach Ryan Kottke and the Mustangs in the nightcap. Underwood tossed 4 1/3 innings of six-hit, four-run ball to keep the Mustangs in it, but the Gyrenes eventually forced the freshman out of the game as fellow Kentucky native Trey Blanford came on in relief. Blandford allowed three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings as the Gyrenes woke up the bats late to steal the victory away from the Mustangs.
The Gyrenes’ Justin Bureau came on in the fifth inning and shut down the Mustangs, allowing only three hits while striking out four in three innings of work.
UP NEXT — @MGroveBASEBALL at St. Thomas (Fla.) â Wednesday (Mar. 4) 2:30 & 5:30 p.m.
The Mustangs visit St. Thomas for a Wednesday (Mar. 4) doubleheader in Miami Gardens beginning at 2:30 p.m. St. Thomas is the third of four Sun Conference teams on the Mustangs slate this week as the first-year program continues its march through its inaugural spring trip. The Mustang Sports Network will carry the game live (audio) on marygrovemustangs.com/live beginning at 2:20 p.m.
BASEBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected] /* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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