The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Mary Wash baseball triumphs in doubleheader

3 min read
A batter on home plate raises his bat for the oncoming pitch.

Ryan Northup prepares to bat against John Carroll University. | Ryan Higgins, The Weekly Ringer


Staff Writer

On March 16, Mary Washington’s baseball team faced off in a doubleheader against John Carroll at UMW’s V. Earl Dickinson Stadium. Starting at a deficit against their rivals, the team took home victory in both games against the visiting university. 

Behind by four runs at the end of the fifth inning, the Eagles made the proper adjustments needed to secure a comeback in the first game. They scored four points in their sixth inning to tie the game up and secured their victory in the eighth inning by scoring their fifth and final run of the game. Later that same day, they won their second game against John Carroll with a final score of 5–2.

Kelly Swiney, the Eagle’s head coach, spoke about his expectations going into the game. 

“When you play the first game of a series you’re always expecting a tough battle,” said Swiney. “I thought we started off a little slow at the plate, struggled there a little bit, but then obviously to be down four to nothing and have a comeback victory is a great game.” 

“Starting off the game, it was a little quiet,” said Tommy Murphy, one of the team’s assistant coaches. “We were putting hard hit balls together, we were pitching it well and it just wasn’t counting to runs.” 

About the team’s strategy in the sixth inning when they scored four runs, Murphy said, “We applied pressure; we tried to play the game as hard as possible, and it worked out in our favor.” 

According to Murphy, the team from John Carroll had a strong pitching game with a lot of mix-ups that demanded in-inning and at-bat adjustments throughout the game. 

Based on the performance in these games, Murphy expects to implement additional focus on skill and starting the game strong in future practices. For example, the players will focus on batting and getting points earlier in the game, cleaning up their defense and improving so that they can peak at the end of the season when it’s most important.

Griffin Graham, a junior majoring in business administration, was on the field as a right-handed pitcher during the game. 

According to Graham, a solid mindset going into these games is vital. To find this headspace, he works on mental preparation and visualizing success before a game through “throwing bullpens throughout the week, keeping the body right and mental preparation, … [and] visualizing going out and dominating the game.”

A couple of players stood out to Swiney, such as freshmen Oliver Martin and Charlie Grove, who were good at-bat and contributed to the team’s success alongside Jamie Kotula, Griffin Graham and Tommy Martinez.

Being on the field, Graham noted who performed outstandingly during the games. 

He said, “Oliver Martin and Charlie Grove, our catcher and second baseman—they just had big-time plays coming through and big-time moments.” 

Swiney hopes that more of their supporters come out to see the games as the season continues.

“I know we’re getting better weather, so hopefully we can get more and more people out to the stadium,” he said. “We just love to have the students, the fans, everybody in the community out to support us. We appreciate it. When they do come out, we notice.”