Baseball wins double-header

Gaels defeat Durham College Lords in home opener

Jesse Kugler pitched a strong opening game during their opening weekend.
Jesse Kugler pitched a strong opening game during their opening weekend.
Credit: 
Robert Ewart
Baseball player Graham Fulton makes contact in Saturday’s season opener.
Baseball player Graham Fulton makes contact in Saturday’s season opener.
Photo: 

A slow start and a quick finish resulted in a 2-0 record for men’s baseball last Saturday.

The men opened the season against the Durham College Lords.

Playing at home at Megaffin Park, the Gaels played a double-header, defeating the defending provincial champions on both counts.

The Gaels were sluggish out of the gate, with three players striking out to end the first inning.

“It was our first game as a team and I think we started out a bit cautious,” head coach Tom Reid said after the game.

But he added that a little bit of nervousness can be a good thing.

Durham came out strong and appeared to be in control of the game, scoring first with a run in the 4th inning.

But their lordship was to be short-lived. The Gaels did not allow them to score again.

After a brief pause between the 4th and 5th innings, Queen’s came alive.

A run by Ben MacLeod got the ball rolling.

Todd Larson scored shortly after that followed by a run by P.J. Lee. A three-run home run by Dave Shorrock brought the score to 7-1, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.

Reid said he thought the turning point came after Durham’s only run, adding that consistent pitching is one of the Gaels greatest strengths.

“Pitching and defense are our secrets,” he said.

He said that knowing the tendencies of the Durham squad, he played more left-handed pitchers than right-handed.

He said his team will modify its strategy when the need arises, but with regard to other aspects of their game, he said if it isn’t broken, he won’t fix it.

“I think we were successful today so I won’t change anything yet.”

The second game of the day unfolded more smoothly, with Queen’s scoring first with an early run.

Durham quickly evened up the score but the consistency they showed early in the first game was rapidly disappearing.

The Gaels appeared to steadily gain confidence throughout the day, closing out the second game with a final score of 5-1.

Reid said he was very pleased with the team’s performance, especially given the quality of their opponent.

“We’re in one of the toughest divisions,” he said. “All the teams are deep in talent.”

He said the team’s ability to come together and play as a unit after such a short time also bodes well for the remainder of the season.

The team was picked only a week before the opener and the players had very little time to get to know each other.

The squad is a mix of old and new, with several players from other schools and several who are returning from time away from Queen’s.

The rookies had the especially challenging task of adjusting to a new city, a new school and a new team.

“We are very aware of that, we give them the time they need to be themselves.”

Reid said some of his older players have been helping to coach and are in constant contact with new players, helping them find their places in the team.

Tyler Jonhston said the team’s goals for the season are very simple.

“It’s not real complicated. We just want to win as many games as we can.”

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