Believe and the bats will come.
The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s baseball team had no trouble putting together runs in their doubleheader showdown against the Ryerson Rams Sunday afternoon. The Hawks cruised to a 15-5 and a 10-3 doubleheader sweep on their home turf after the games were moved from Toronto to play in Waterloo.
The Hawks defence got things going, with pitcher Adam McBride getting the start at the mound. The fifth-year shut down the last two batters setting the tone for the game.
And then the bats started coming.
Adam Shaver hit an RBI single down left field to kickstart the offence and Laurier would take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
“Being the away team, it’s only the second time we’ve been visitors all season. We tried to jump ahead a little bit so starting off really gave me basically going in even though it was a little bloop on the stat sheet it’s all the same, it’s a single,” Shaver said. “Then we started to settle in, our pitching had us down for a little bit but eventually we started checking them in and we got some good innings.”
The Rams would rally back within one until the Hawks broke the game open. Walk after walk, the runs started coming in like a carousel, and soon after the Hawks scored six runs to take a commanding 9-2 lead over the Rams in the fifth inning. The Hawks continued to suffocate the Rams offensive capabilities while tacking on runs, eventually forcing Ryerson into mercy.
“We swung the bats pretty well [on Sunday],” head coach Scott Ballantyne said. “We’ve been doing a pretty good job defensively, and pitching — we’ve been pitching pretty well the first couple games of the season and even in some of our non-conference games we’ve been taking advantage of mistakes the other team is making rather than making our own good fortune.”
The second game went very much the same, with the Hawks jumping on the ball early — taking an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Hawks continued their offensive prowess into the second game, stealing a total of nine bases and accumulating 13 hits over seven innings.
“Anytime you put up 25 runs in two games you got to be pretty happy about that,” Ballantyne said regarding the team’s offensive depth. “We just had a lot of good practice time over the last few weeks and a lot of our inner squad and non conference games have really helped our guys in terms of distance.”
The Hawks were able to take advantage of the pitcher’s mistakes and read the ball correctly to keep the base hits rolling. According to Shaver, a lot of the players at the top of the lineup played professionally this year where the pitches are a lot faster, so it was a bit of a transition period for them to slow down and settle into the game.
“Overall just a lot of hard work that the guys are putting in and it is paying off for them.”
The Hawks will look to keep the momentum going next weekend when they face the Brock Badgers on the road. First pitch is at 2 p.m. in St. Catharines.