Baseball falls twice but wins final game of three-game contest
Junior OF/DH Thomas Richards (above) notched his first home run of the season as the Bulls went 1-2 on the weekend against North Carolina A&T. Spectrum File Photo
The baseball team kicked off its 2013 campaign this weekend, traveling to North Carolina to take on North Carolina A&T in a three-game series.
After dropping two consecutive games 6-3 and 6-5 on Friday, the latter on a walk-off single, the Bulls (1-2) retaliated by winning the final game of the series on Sunday against North Carolina A&T (2-0) by a score of 10-6.
"We just talked about being focused, having quality at-bats and bouncing back and getting one," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "I thought we blew the second [game] the other day. We didn't make plays when we needed to. [However], like I tell the guys all the time, the good thing about baseball is you don't have a lot of time to think about [a loss]. You've got to come back the next day and be ready to play."
Redshirt freshman 3B/DH Tyler Mautner helped generate an offensive assault, accumulating five hits in 11 at-bats over the course of the weekend.
It was Mautner's first appearance since suffering an injury that sidelined him last season.
"The times he flew out [Sunday], he hit the ball real hard," Torgalski said. "We needed him to step up."
Junior OF/DH Thomas Richards also contributed to the offense. The team is looking for Richards to fill the void of the graduated Dan Scahill.
Richards provided pop in the lineup for the Bulls this weekend, notching the team's first home run of the year.
"He had some good swings," Torgalski said. "In the game where he hit the home run, he got some good pitches to hit, saw the [ball] well and he squared up some balls."
Richards finished the weekend with two runs batted in (RBI) and three hits. Both Mautner and Richards were a big help to a lineup that lost senior Matt Pollock to an injury this weekend.
Pollock will be further evaluated and his status is uncertain for the moment.
"[Pollock] hurt his wrist before game one," Torgalski said. "He struggled through game one and really didn't swing the bat like he wanted to. [Pollock] is going to see the doctor tomorrow. I'm hoping it's more of a sprain or a tendon that got inflamed."
Junior SS/SP Mike Burke had arguably the best performance of any pitcher this weekend. After allowing the Aggies to go up 3-0 on Sunday, Burke found his niche and notched the team's first win of the season.
"Right now, he's probably our No. 1 guy," Torgalski said. "But the fact that he's a two-way guy, we're going to keep him on Sunday's just to give his arm a chance to get back to where it needs to be every week."
Burke finished the day with a career-high nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The Bulls will have a week off before hitting the road again to play a doubleheader on Friday against Maryland Eastern Shore (0-1) at 12:30 p.m. and VMI (0-3) at 4:30 p.m.
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