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Baseball splits wins in Ohio Wesleyan doubleheader

Gators prepare for remaining conference games and playoffs

Joe+Nagel%2C+%E2%80%9919%2C+pitches+during+the+game+against+Thiel+College+on+Wednesday%2C+April+19%2C+2017.+The+Gators+won+16%E2%80%933+against+the+Tomcats.+
Joe Nagel, ’19, pitches during the game against Thiel College on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The Gators won 16–3 against the Tomcats.

Joe Nagel, ’19, pitches during the game against Thiel College on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The Gators won 16–3 against the Tomcats.

Brittany Adams

Brittany Adams

Joe Nagel, ’19, pitches during the game against Thiel College on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The Gators won 16–3 against the Tomcats.

Alex Holmes, Sports Editor

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The Allegheny baseball team split a doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday, April 15.

“Our pitching was phenomenal all weekend. They combined for four runs the first game. We lost the first game 4–2 and went 3–0 in the second game,” Vinny Carone, ’19, said. “They struggled earlier in the season as we played some great hitting teams, but our offense was very well earlier.”

Head Coach Kelly Swiney said the pitching was a highlight of the game, but there were errors that led to the loss.

“We did a good job of working out of some jams. … For that doubleheader on Saturday we pitched really well,” Swiney said. “It was good to get Chase Boyer, [’17], back on the mound. It was his first start since the very first game of the year. He’s reigning conference pitcher of the year, and when you lose your ace after the first game of the year, you’re really battling without him and it was good to get him healthy again and back out there.”

Boyer was out due to an injury.

Swiney said that since returning from their spring break trip to Arizona, the team has been struggling offensively but is working to improve.

“Offense was our strength early in the year and what we thought our strength was going to be throughout the year. We’ve faced some great pitching, but we definitely think we should do better,” Carone said.

Throughout the two games, the team was able to score five runs.

“We really struggled hitting in both games. We scraped a couple runs in the first game, but we weren’t able to hold them off,” Carone said. “The first game we made a lot of errors, which definitely didn’t help. The second game was just trying to keep them off the board, and we knew we weren’t going to score a lot of runs.”

In addition to improving offense, Swiney said the team is working on having fewer errors defensively.

“We’ve looked really good at times, but we’ve looked bad at times,” Swiney said. “Offensively, we’ve got to be aggressive and get those lead off hitters on base to create big innings. … Pitching-wise we seem to be getting stronger and stronger as the season goes, so that’s exciting. That’s kind of the name of the game in baseball, so if we can continue to pitch well, we just have to get a little better offensively.”

As the end of regular season games approaches, the team is hoping to find success and get on a winning streak to carry them into the playoffs.

“Last year we went on an 11-game winning streak to end the season, and in years past, they’ve gone on similar winning streaks, so it’s important for us to get on a roll so we’re hot going into playoffs, and hopefully we can win our side of the conference or get the number two seed so we go to the conference playoffs,” Carone said.

Swiney said the season has been up and down, but the team has been resilient.

“I told them the other day that I’m proud to coach them and wouldn’t want any other team,” Swiney said. “It’s been a next-man-up type of mentality. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing or who we have out there, who they have out there, we’re ready to compete and win.”

Ethan Pawlak, ’19, said the team’s overall goal is to make it to the playoffs, but they are focusing on each day that will get them to that point.

“On a game-to-game basis, a goal is just winning every inning and the bigger stuff comes from that,” Pawlak said. “It’s hard to focus on a big goal, but the little things get you there. For me, that’s focusing on every single inning and every game and working from there.”

The team will travel to Hiram College on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, for a four-game series.

“I’m excited to win more games and play with everybody, especially the seniors, I’m pretty close with them,” Pawlak said. “It’ll be fun to play with them the last couple of times and make a run into the playoffs.”

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Baseball splits wins in Ohio Wesleyan doubleheader