Hartwick’s Big Day Not Enough as Baseball Falls Twice
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ADRIAN, Mich. — First-year head coach Ryan Kottke and the Marygrove baseball program returned to Adrian, Mich. â one week after their walk-off win against Concordia-Ann Arbor â this time as the away team to take on the host Siena Heights Saints for a WHAC doubleheader on Wednesday (March 25). Down key players, the Mustangs struggled to string together hits as the Saints won game one, 16-0, before taking game two over the Green and Gold, 6-0.
The Mustangs drop to 2-17 overall on their inaugural season and 1-7 in WHAC play while the Saints move even to 9-9 overall and 5-3 in conference action.
GAME ONE â Siena Heights 16, @MGroveBASEBALL 0
Starter Daniel Bailey (Harrison Twp., Mich./L’Anse Creuse High School) was charged with the game one loss after a difficult start for the righty and the Mustangs defense. The Saints posted six runs in the first and nine in the third inning to jump on top early and never look back in the 16-0 conference decision.
Kyle Hartwick (Oxford, Mich./Rend Lake CC) had a monster game one at the dish, going three-for-three to account for 60-percent of the Mustangs hits in the opener. Hartwick got on base three times via a pair of singles and a double, but the Mustangs could not string together the hits needed to climb back into the game and score runs against the Saints starter who went five innings and struck out four.
Trey Blandford (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School) came on in relief for Bailey to toss three-and-one-third innings of four-hit, three-run ball. The freshman reliever, who is also the Mustangs’ backup catcher, faced 16 Saints’ batters and recorded two punch outs in the process.
GAME TWO â Siena Heights 6, @MGroveBASEBALL 0
The offensive struggles continued to mount for Kottke’s squad in game two but errors proved to be the difference as the Mustangs were charged with four miscues through seven innings of play. In the first inning, freshman righty Ryne Underwood (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School) retired the first two batters before letting Saints put two runners on with two outs. With two-on and two-out, Underwood induced a line drive to right field, but the Mustangs could not come up with the play and were charged with an error that eventually led to a 3-0 Saints lead after one inning of play.
Errors struck again in inning number two as Underwood and the Mustangs faced a quick 5-0 hole. Despite the five-run deficit, Underwood tossed another strong game by going four innings and striking out a pair of Saints batters. The freshman from Kentucky was on the mound for all six of the Saints runs but was only charged for two earned thanks to the defensive miscues behind him in the opening innings.
Jacob Baker (Berkley, Mich./Berkley High School) jogged to the mound after Underwood to post two innings of one-hit ball and was on the mound for the only double play of the day for the Mustangs when Jon Weatherspoon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron High School) flipped the ball to Chris Gittleman for the beginning stages of a 4-6-3 turn. Gittleman (Windsor, Ontario/Trinity Christian College) received Weatherspoon’s turn barehanded and smoothly fired it to first base where Troy Justice (Detroit, Mich./Southfield Lathrup High School) scooped it and secured it to complete the double play.
At the plate, the Mustangs were once again led by Hartwick who went two-for-two and a walk after getting hit by the pitch. The sophomore catcher singled and doubled to complete a five-for-five day, raising his season average to .260 and slugging percentage to .340 in a season that is just one year removed from Tommy John Surgery.
Hartwick was joined in the hit column by Baker, Justice and Raleigh Wilson (Harrison Twp., Mich./West Texas College) in a game where the Mustangs matched the Saints’ hit total, 5-5, despite dropping the contest by six runs.
The Mustangs will take on their first ranked opponent in program history when they travel to Lima, Ohio for a weekend set at NAIA No. 25 University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH). The Mustangs have faced teams in the current NAIA Top-25 Poll (Northwood, Saint Thomas and Madonna), but the upcoming test at UNOH will mark the first games against a current Top-25 opponent in program history.Â The UNOH Racers will provide live video coverage of all four game this weekend as the Mustang Sports Network returns for live video coverage during the next home series opposite NAIA No. 6 Davenport (April 3-4).
BASEBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected] /* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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