Hawks round first
Recent history has shown that the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ baseball team can pitch, but at times struggle to find their bats.
This Saturday at Bechtel Park proved to be a different tale, however, as the Hawks were able to generate 27 runs in two games against the Queen’s Gaels.
Laurier took the early game of the doubleheader by a score of 12-2, with the ten run mercy rule coming into effect in the fifth inning.
Leading the way offensively in the first game was Ryan Panas, who had three hits, an RBI and two runs.
Pitching was also of significant note, as freshman Jordan Patruska pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits and two runs, while striking out six. Patruska was able to throw strikes early and often — something that was key to his success according to manager Scott Ballantyne.
The second half of the doubleheader saw more Laurier dominance, as the Hawks came out on top 15-6.
Starter Ian Fillion earned the win going four innings, while allowing three runs and striking out two. Queen’s did chase him from the game in the fourth inning however, a point that coach Ballantyne was fine with.
“Fillion cruised through the first three innings,” said Ballantyne. “Then they put good swings on him. But if we can get four innings out of him, we are happy and our bullpen is deep and strong so we are good with four.”
Perhaps restoring faith in the bullpen was the dominant performance by Wesley Van Luven, who came in and pitched 1.2 perfect innings while striking out four.
“Wesley [an Luven] is a fifth year guy who can throw strikes and handle any kind of situation,” said Ballantyne. “He went out and mowed them down which is what we needed.
The offensive production in the second game was led by two first-year standouts, as Alex Kupchak had four RBIs, and Jonathan Brouse had three.
A notable lineup change came when Ballantyne moved first baseman Tino Silvestri up in the order to leadoff and dropped former team MVP Nathan Loehle down to the four-hole.
This decision was not made without a great feeling of confidence from coach Ballantyne, who has managed Silvestri during the last three summers.
“Tino has been a leadoff for me this summer, so we figured we could move him up as he gets on base a lot,” said Ballantyne. “Then we could move Loehle to the middle for more power at the four-spot.”
The Golden Hawks continued their busy weekend by travelling to St. Catharines on Sunday to face the Brock Badgers for another doubleheader.
Starter Brett Van Pelt earned the win in the early match, after out-pitching Brock’s own ace Kurtis Robinson in what proved to be a pitchers’ duel with a final score of 3-2.
The second game was completely different, however, as the Golden Hawks were unable to help out starter Jack Malone defensively, committing five errors in the game and eventually losing 8-3 for their first loss of the season in the OUA.
The Hawks take on the Guelph Gryphons this Thursday at Hastings Stadium in Guelph as they look to get back into the win column.