Baseball drops pivotal doubleheader

In a make up doubleheader that carried over from Sunday after a rainout, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ baseball squad welcomed the Western Mustangs to Bechtel Park for two games on Wednesday, October 5th.

After both games, the Hawks were left wishing that the games had been played back on Sunday, if never at all after dropping consecutive 8-5 and 1-0 losses.

The first game saw a solid pitching performance from starter Brett Van Pelt, who went six innings allowing only one run, and found himself constantly pitching out of jams through his ability to pound the strike zone and put away batters. Van Pelt finished the game with nine strikeouts while only allowing five hits.

However, after Van Pelt left the game in position for the win, the Golden Hawks’ bullpen was unable to preserve the solid effort from their starter in what can only be called a self-destruction.

Fifth year Wes Van Luven came in and was unable to get the save, giving up three runs in the seventh inning, and allowing Western to force the game into extra innings.

Then team-captain and fifth-year veteran David Canavan came in to try and stop the bleeding, but also came up short in his attempt. In the eighth, Laurier was unable to slow down the Mustang’s, who scored another five runs and came out on top by a score of 8-5.

Leading the way offensively for the Golden Hawks was first year standout Darnell Duckett, who finished the game 2-4 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.

The second game took a different route, but ended up with the same result.

For the second start in a row, Laurier’s Jordan Patruska was unable to get any run support from the Hawks struggling bats. His last outing saw him go the distance and come out on the wrong end of a 1-0 ballgame.

On Wednesday evening, Patruska saw his team fall behind early and never catch up, despite the fact that there was never an insurmountable lead held by the Mustangs. The starter pitched a complete game while allowing only three runs and also striking out nine.

Designated hitter Jack Malone was 2-3 in the second part of the evening’s doubleheader, but that was the lone bright spot for the Laurier offence as the team now sits at a very pedestrian 9-9, with an even more unimpressive record of 2-8 in their last 10 games after dropping the second game by a score of 3-1.

It is becoming too common a theme for the Laurier Golden Hawks to lose close ball games, as they seem incapable of finding their offensive production when they need it most.

Despite strong pitching for most of the season, there has to be concern going into the playoffs that the Hawks’ bats are unable to generate enough runs to consistently win ball games.

Laurier looks to put an end to their slide this weekend as they host McMaster for a doubleheader on Friday, and then travel to Kingston to face Queens on Saturday.

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