By MADALYN CROWELL
The Mary Washington men’s baseball team pulled out an exciting victory over Ithaca College this past Saturday afternoon at Dickinson Stadium. The Eagles won the game 8-4 and improved their overall record to 11-5 on the season.
“Going into the game we knew that Ithaca was going to be a tough team to beat,” sophomore third baseman Santino Rosanova said. “They are usually ranked nationally and always have a good team.”
Rosanova led the Eagles at the plate against the Bombers, as he went 3-4 with two runs and two RBI. However, UMW had a balanced offensive attack in the game, as eight of the nine starters got at least one hit.
“The hitters have been doing a really good job of scoring runs this year and have even bailed the pitchers out in some cases,” junior pitcher Zach Hendrix said. “But overall we are playing well and I’m excited to see how far we can go this year.”
After a scoreless first inning, Ithaca scored four runs in the second, highlighted by Bombers’ sophomore third baseman Mike Preite’s RBI double. But the Eagles responded in the bottom half of the inning, when senior catcher Nick Espinosa’s RBI double started the scoring for UMW. The Eagles went on to score three runs in the second to cut Ithaca’s lead to 4-3.
UMW trailed until the sixth inning, when they added another three runs to the board to take a 6-4 lead. The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs in the inning and took advantage with back to back RBI singles by senior outfielder Alex Howell and Rosanova. Another run crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by designated hitter Shane Sixsmith.
Mary Washington tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, with Rosanova driving in another run on an RBI single and junior shortstop Jackson Clement adding an RBI knock himself.
After giving up four runs (three earned) in the second inning, UMW freshman pitcher Zach Goodwyn settled down as he allowed just two hits and no runs in his remaining four innings of work. Goodwyn recorded three strikeouts in the game and picked up his second win of the season.
“Zach Goodwyn started the game on the mound for us and gave us a solid six innings,” Hendrix said. “But Ryan Engelking came in and really closed the door on any chances they had of coming back.”
Engelking was indeed impressive in his three innings of work, as he gave up just two hits and allowed no runs to shut the door on the Bombers and secure the UMW victory.
Since the Ithaca game, the Eagles have had a pair of road games against Gallaudet University and Randolph-Macon College. UMW defeated CAC foe Gallaudet 14-3 and they topped Randolph-Macon 18-8. The Eagles have now won five straight, and they have improved to 13-5 on the year, but they still have a few goals left.
“We really want to beat Salisbury this year and win the CAC tournament,” Hendrix said. “We haven’t been to regionals in a few years, and we really want to get there this year. Hopefully we can keep improving throughout the rest of the season and we can get to the regional tournament.”