By Staff Writer Thomas Griffin.
Limping through an already arduous 2019 season, the Corsair Baseball team struggled to get it done on the diamond after this past week’s matches took their toll.
This past Wednesday saw a matchup between the equally struggling UMassD Corsairs and Roger Williams Hawks. With the Corsairs standing at a 5-5 record, and the Hawks trailing at 3-7 on the season, the game was must-win for both squads if they wanted to stay relevant. Both teams needed to snap their losing streaks, and a statement win against a statistically equal team would set the tone for the games to follow.
Unfortunately for the Corsairs, Roger Williams got the statement win they needed, and in convincing fashion as well – to the tune of 12 runs to 6.
Granted, the matchup was closely contested and genuinely compelling through four and a half innings. While the Hawks were able to rattle off five runs during that span, some thankless heroism from senior Jack Harrington and junior Mitch Baker produced two RBIs apiece, cutting Roger Williams’ lead down to a single run heading into the bottom of the fifth.
It was there that Roger Williams managed to score seven runs in a single inning.
The Hawks loaded the bases with breakneck pace, then proceeded to send one runner through on an RBI single. The very next at-bat led, unfortunately, to a grand slam home run for the Hawks, extending their lead over the corsairs to 10-4. To add insult to injury, tack on two additional back-to-back Roger Williams runs by means of uncontrollable pitches. What was once a competitive game was now an eight-point routing.
The Corsairs managed to tack on two additional runs in the seventh inning, but the match had already been decided in the Hawks’ favor.
Three Corsair pitching substitutions in the bottom of the fifth, followed by a total dismantling of the UMassD fielding core, shows uncertainty in the team’s bullpen.
There is no singular fault to be directed for the inning either, as the loading of the bases, the grand slam, and the pitching errors were attributed to a multitude of different pitchers.
In its current state, UMassD baseball’s strengths can be attributed to their offense and their batting core. On top of Harrington and Baker’s contributions on the day, senior Pat Vartanian has been batting .393 on the season. When in control of the inning, the team is capable of being explosive and running up the score on opposing teams. These strengths, however, are greatly minimized without a unit of shutdown pitchers to keep the scoreboard in check.
Unless this team can balance itself out over the coming weeks, the dream of being a contender might be all but gone.