Coming off a weekend of wins and boasting a 5-1 record, Queen’s baseball was firing on all cylinders heading into Saturday’s doubleheader against Oshawa’s Durham college. But the Gaels knew if they wanted to continue their winning streak they needed to put forth their best effort.
Game one of the double header featured the pitching duo of Gaels Mike Bertoia and Dan Bevan, who pitched four and three innings respectively.
It was a lapse in the first inning by the Gaels defense that allowed three runs. To make matters worse the runs squandered the Gaels’ first inning two-run, lead.
After the first inning, both teams settled down and were unable to score for the remainder of the game, leaving the final score at 3-2 in favour of Durham.
Despite the strong play by the Gaels, the general consensus was that Queen’s was unable to get timely hitting.
“We played well, a good tight baseball game, but the only problem was we had no clutch hitting,” said Mike Arsenault, a Gaels pitcher.
Catcher Ben McLeod agreed, saying the team played well, but didn’t seem to have what it took to get over the hump.
“We got good pitching from Mike Bertoia and Dan Bevan, but the bottom line is we left a lot of runners stranded. We just couldn’t seem to score with bases loaded, and basically had a lack of hitting in clutch situations.”
Coach Tom Reid said he felt the team’s energy was low and they didn’t come through when they needed to. He admitted they faced a very good club but he was clear in noting that Queen’s did not give Durham their best.
After the first game, Reid said that he told his team to “get back to basics, forget about the loss, and to get back at it.”
Game two started off eerily similar to the first one, with Queen’s again jumping ahead to a 3-0 lead. But, much like the first game, Durham roared back with five runs, once again cutting short the Gaels’ lead.
The Gaels decreased the gap, making the game 5-4, but Durham came alive in the 6th inning with three runs, widening the margin once again.
Again, the Gaels showed their resilience, clawing back to 8-6 in the 6th, but it wasn’t enough, as Durham ended up winning the game at that score.
It was evident in the post-game remarks that Queen’s took the losses hard.
Arsenault, who started for Queen’s, was unhappy with his performance.
“Offense and defense was good, I just didn’t bring my game today.”
McLeod added that he was happy to see his team “try to make a comeback, but it just wasn’t enough to win the game.”
Reid said that Queen’s had lost to a team that was “good, but not better.”
Despite his disappointment, Reid remained optimistic about the Gaels’ playoff hopes.
“Our team fought hard right until the end, and even though we got swept, our fate is still in our hands.”
While their record drops to 5-3, the men are still in second place and still have control over determining their final standing with next week’s games.
The Gaels have four games coming up, with two on Saturday against York, and another two on Sunday against Durham.
Dave Shorrack, [xx-position], said that in order to win, it will come down to the basics.
“We’ve had good offense all year, but now we just need solid pitching and defense if we want some wins next weekend.”
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