By: Zack Bucher
The Benedictine baseball team had their home opener against University of Wisconsin-Platteville this past Saturday, where they would sweep two games of a double header. The Eagles won the first game 7-6 and the second 5-4.
Despite having a rough start to the season due to the spring break trip, the Eagles fought hard in the two games.
“These one run ball games are a headache and a half, but I’ll take the win at the end. The bats are coming around when they need to be stringing hits together whuch is huge for runs putting the ball in play. Good things happen which is exactly what we are doing. Netzel and Spalla went the distance as starting pitchers, which is exactly what we need. The clean up crew takes care of the rest. These were both great team wins,” said senior Mike Irgang.
Game one looked to be another rough start after surrendering two first inning runs. The Eagles fought back and took the lead in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 3 runs.
The story of game one was Eagles starter Cody Netzel, as after his rough first inning he settled in, striking out a total of 13 batters in his six and a third innings of work.
Benedictine got scared in the bottom of the ninth inning when Platteville put the tying and go ahead run on base. Pitcher Dylan Smith shut them down and got the save.
“I thought it was a good way to start out the season with a double win. I feel confident that our bats and starting pitching will both be performing at the their best soon,” said junior Mike Spalla.
The second game started well for the Eagles, as they scored first in the third and again in the fourth, pulling ahead 3-0. Platteville battled back, chipping away and eventually took the lead, 4-3.
In the bottom of ninth, Platteville had some costly errors. Benedictine took advantage of those errors and scored to tie the game. Utility player Brandon Clark won the game by a single hit up the middle.
“I think the team is finally coming together and we are playing for each other. Our hitting and defense is finally on the same page and that’s something we struggled with in Florida. These last two wins were a great team effort,” said Clark.
“Anytime you hit a walk off it’s a good feeling, but what made it better was knowing that we had a player get injured but still hustled down the line to be safe, a great Oppo hit and a huge bunt to move guys over. Max, Justin, Nick and Timmy are the large success in that walk off and I wouldn’t have been where I was if it weren’t for them,” said Clark.
The Eagles return to action Wednesday when they take on University of Chicago at 4:30 p.m. at home.