Hawks fail to capitalize
On a brisk evening at Jack Couch Park in Waterloo, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks played two crucial baseball games against the cross-town Waterloo Warriors, who coming into the evening, were one game ahead of the Hawks in the standings.
Starting the first game for Laurier was staff ace Brett Van Pelt, who did not disappoint, pitching a complete game while striking out eight and only giving up two hits for one run while earning the win over Waterloo’s Brandon Beattie.
Beattie struggled from the start, giving up a three-run homer to Golden Hawk stud Ryan Panas in the first inning.
It was all downhill from there for the Warriors (11-7), as Laurier’s bats generated 11 runs over the next five innings to force the mercy rule into effect, making the final score 11-1.
One of the biggest differences in the game was fielding, as Laurier only committed one error to Waterloo’s five.
However the victory did not come without a cost, as designated hitter and reigning team MVP Nathan Loehle was forced to leave the game after re-injuring his nagging shoulder.
Even with Loehle, the Golden Hawks may not have been able to change their fortunes for the second game as it seemed they used up all their offensive production in the first game.
Waterloo ace Adam Lentz kept the Hawks off-balance and confused for the full seven innings, coming out on top of a true pitchers duel.
Laurier starter and first year Jordan Patruska deserved a better fate, going the distance, striking out seven and only allowing one run, but still standing as the losing pitcher because of the Hawks’ struggles to generate any offence.
For Laurier, their best offensive opportunity came in the top of the seventh, when they were able to get runners on first and second with one out, but unfortunately stranded both runners due to the impressive pitching of Lentz.
In the end, Lentz ended up pitching a complete game with 13 strikeouts, two hits allowed, and no runs, earning the 1-0 victory.
While the Hawks entered the doubleheader one game back of Waterloo, they were unable to gain any ground, as their record is now 9-7 after entering the evening 8-6.
Despite the encouraging performance from both Van Pelt and Patruska, who each started and finished their respective games on the mound, the Hawks have to be somewhat disappointed by the fact that they were not able to capitalize on giving up only two runs in two total ball games.
Finding some consistency in their bats will be key for the Golden Hawks as the regular season comes to a close and the playoffs creep up.
The Golden Hawks next host the Western Mustangs on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Bechtel Park as they look to build some momentum for the playoffs.