Baseball team loses three

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s baseball team had a rough weekend, winning only one of their four match-ups. In their double header against the Western Mustangs, the Hawks were swept, while they split another set against the Brock Badgers.

This brings Laurier’s regular season record to 3-5. Last year at this time the Hawks had a 6-3 record.

“We’re obviously disappointed to be 3-5, but our boys showed poise against a couple of top teams,” commented head coach Scott Ballantyne.

In London on Friday, the Mustangs handed the Hawks a pair of losses, 6-3 and 2-0.

The Hawks can’t seem to get past the Mustangs, who defeated them in three regular season games last year and then again in a sweep in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) final.

In a highly competitive set of games on Sunday afternoon at Bechtel Park in Waterloo, the Hawks took a hold of game one late in the ninth to win 6-5, while the Badgers edged Laurier 8-6 in extra innings in game two.

It was late-game substitution Jesse Milanovich’s RBI single that cashed the go-ahead run and win for the Hawks in game one. On the mound, right-handed pitcher Jack Malone threw a solid 8 1/3 innings.

Despite outhitting the Badgers in game two, the Hawks couldn’t manage to pull ahead and were defeated by Shaun Valeriote’s two-run double in extra innings.

Valeriote currently holds the highest batting average in the OUA, followed by Laurier’s own third-baseman Ryan Panas. The hard-hitting Panas has 14 hits and nine RBI for the season.

The Hawks suffered defensively, once again committing a handful of costly errors that ultimately led to their loss. A Laurier error at second base followed by a pair of wild pitches thrown by closer David Canavan advanced Badger runners to put them in scoring position for Valeriote.

In eight total games played, the Hawks have tallied over 15 errors.

“Baseball is a two-way sport,” said Panas. “You need to produce offensively as well as have solid defense to win…. As a team, we just have to play better.”

The Hawks will play the McMaster Marauders on Saturday in Hamilton and are back at home Sunday for the battle of Waterloo against the Waterloo Warriors.

“There is a lot of baseball still left to be played and we’ll be ready to go next weekend,” said Ballantyne.

Game times are at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. at Bechtel Park.

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