By Luke Stanczyk
The Benedictine University baseball team was only able to play one game of their doubleheader on Sunday, as rain prevented them from finishing game two and left the Eagles with an empty feeling as they fell in game one to the Dominican Stars by the score of 5-4 at the Sports Complex. After playing three and a half innings of the second game on Sunday, the Eagles returned on Monday night to win game two by a score of 8-5.
BenU struck first in game one with a two-run homerun off the bat of sophomore Ryan Mullin in the third inning. However, the Stars would make the Eagles lead short lived. They would score in each inning from the fifth until the eighth for their five runs.
The Stars never led by more than two runs in the game, as the Eagles would trim leads in the seventh and eighth innings. Mullin hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to pull BenU to within one at 4-3, and after Dominican added one in the top of the eighth, junior Steve Cocat hit an RBI double to make it a 5-4 score.
Benedictine would threaten in the bottom of the ninth, but they would leave runners on second and third to end the game. The Eagles would threaten a few different times in this game to break out, but just could not seem to get that one clutch hit they needed.
“I’m not sure,” said junior catcher Tom Higgins when asked about why they weren’t able to get that key hit. “I felt like we had good contact for the most part, but the wind wasn’t helping us at all.”
Starting pitcher and junior Kevin Crowley took the loss despite having it on cruise control through the first five innings. Errors were a big reason why BenU fell short in this game and why Crowley gave up five runs, as the Eagles committed three errors on the day leading to three unearned runs crossing the plate. The loss drops Crowley to 2-4 on the season despite having a respectable 4.39 ERA.
Crowley went 7 1/3 innings in the game, and he was followed by freshman Spencer Lehmann and junior Shay Wagner (both of whom were un-scored upon)
At the plate, Mullin paced BenU with his three RBI and two hits. The only other Eagle to record more than one hit was junior John Cervantes, as he was 2-for-5 on the day.
BenU led game two 5-4 after it was suspended in the fourth inning. Starter Matt Vucovich went just 1 1/3 innings, giving up four runs. However, after a long lighting delay, the Eagles plated four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 5-4 lead. The rain would then come, suspending the game until Monday night.
When play continued, sophomore Nick Diessner took the mound for BenU and did his job through 2 2/3 innings, holding Dominican to just one run. In a 6-5 game in the bottom of the eighth, Higgins hit a two-run double to straight away center to give BenU an 8-5 lead. Freshman Spencer Lehmann and junior Shay Wagner would preserve the lead, giving freshman Ty Anderson (who came in after Vucovich on Sunday) his second win of the season.
In game two, Cocat went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Higgins went 2-for-5 with two RBI and junior John Cervantes went 2-for-4.
The Eagles return to action on Wednesday night as they travel to Illinois Wesleyan for a 6 p.m. first pitch.