Baseball Hawks win four in a row

After splitting a double-header with the Brock Badgers last week, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s baseball team had their home opener on Saturday and defeated last year’s provincial champions the McMaster Marauders in a double header at Bechtel Park.

The pair of wins put Laurier ahead of the Brock Badgers for the top spot in the OUA, pushing the Marauders into the third spot.

“It was really nice to get back into our own park after playing five games on the road, and especially to beat the reigning champs,” said head coach Scott Balantyne.

A handful of Hawk veterans produced runs in the first game.

Team captain Chris Pittaway led the way by bringing Elliot Shrive in to score.

Veteran Scott Mahn went on to earn another run on a passed ball while Pittaway came home on a triple hit by shortstop Pat Kropf, who was named Laurier’s athlete of the week on Monday.

McMaster fought back in the second, scoring seven runs, but the Hawks came back to earn four runs and tie the game at eight runs apiece by the end of the fourth inning.

Second-years Jesse Milanovich and James Bruce and veterans Jeff Brunsek and Kropf all contributed singles, along with a double from Shrive.

Pitcher Bradley Bach came in for starter Dave Canavan mid-game, and second-year Josh Robinson finished things off during extra innings.

A set of errors allowed Laurier to come out victorious by a score of 9-8.

“Everyone played really well today,” said team captain Mahn, who earned the game winning RBI.

“It really took a full team effort. In game two of the double header, the squad again came out on top, this time by a final score of 6-5.

Second-year Stephen Zagrodny started on the mound, with rookie Steve Bowes making his Hawks debut in the catcher’s position.

The team took an early four-run lead, while Kropf and Mahn played outstanding defense.

Mike Kennedy, Brian MacDonald and Kropf had a pair of hits each, with Bruce and Kennedy earning two RBIs a piece.

First-year Trent Barwick got the Marauders to go three up, three down in the fifth and sixth innings, and gave up only one hit in the seventh.

“We battled hard,” said Ballantyne. “It showed a lot of heart to bounce back.”

In their Tuesday evening game, the Hawks faced cross-town rivals the Waterloo Warriors and won by a score of 3-2.

Rookie pitcher Andrew Greenberg had a great performance, while fellow rookie hurler Trent Barwick went on to finish the game.

The Hawks look to make it six straight wins this weekend on the road against the University of Toronto Saturday, and then back home on Sunday to battle Western.

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