Carol Stream, IL – The Benedictine University men’s baseball team tallied 23 hits during the first of two games in a doubleheader against conference rival, Aurora University. Benedictine won the first game handily with a score of 17-4 through seven innings on Monday afternoon.
The team had a season-high eight-game win streak ended with an 8-6 loss in the second game.
Batting was at a premium in the first contest. The Eagle’s asserted their dominance early as they scored five runs in the first inning. Junior Jack Feely ignited the team’s hot start and continued the dominating performance throughout the rest of the game.
The offense gathered ten hits in the second game. The Eagles were down early but battled back in the sixth inning to take a 6-5 lead. However, Aurora answered back with three runs of their own to make it 8-6.
Feely combined a total of nine hits, five runs, and three RBI’s for the day. The Junior leads the team in runs (28) and hits (43) with a .361 batting average. He is fifth in conference with 17 steals.
“We always talk about sticking to our approach at the plate. During the game today, we were able to get into good counts to hit in and were able to hit our pitches.” Said Feely, “Sometimes we get away from our approach and that’s when we struggle. Our pitching and defense have been solid all year, so as long as our offense stays consistent we should be in great shape for the rest of the season.”
Although batting made great strides, the pitching department is where the Eagles have continued success. Junior Ryan Miller started the first game, pitching a total of six innings allowing four runs. He collected three strikeouts during the game along with the win.
However, pitching in the second game plagued the Eagles early allowing four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman starting pitcher Stephen Sewruk pitched into the second inning before needing relief from sophomore Ryan Litavecz.
Despite the dull performance in the second game, the pitching staff this season has dominated in multiple categories.
They have gained national attention, with four statistics in the top ten of Division III. According to NCAA.com, the Eagles are nationally ranked seventh in walks allowed (2.22), sixth in ERA (2.72), fifth in WHIP (1.15) and third in strikeout to walk ratio (4.27).
“Our pitching staff has worked hard to put our team in the best position to win. Coach Bonnett and the guys have been very supportive and helpful when it comes to improving and working out,” Said Miller, “We have lots of confidence going into MSOE on Thursday. I think guys are starting to hit their stride offensively and knowing that the next regional rankings are coming out, we are ready to start another win streak.”
Benedictine travels to MSOE for a conference matchup Thursday afternoon.