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Baseball Drops Doubleheader to Coast Guard

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

The men's baseball team lost a doubleheader Saturday to the Coast Guard Academy Bears by scores of 31 and 30 at Briggs Field. The losses have left the team 69 overall and 14 in the Constitution Atheletic Conference (14).

In the first game, the Coast Guard scored all their runs in the first inning. Aaron Waters led the game with a double. Jim Zawrotny then followed with an infield single but Waters could not advance. After the next batter flied out, Bob Bickerstaff forced Zawrotny at second. Then Eric Belleque hit a home run to left that just stayed fair while clearing the fence.

The Bears could have scored another run in the third if not for an excellent defensive play. Zawrotny led off with a single. He advanced to third on a throwing error by pitcher Brooks Mendell G. Dave King of the Academy hit a fly to deep right. Right fielder Rob Lepard '95 caught the ball and then threw a perfect strike to nail Zawrotny at home plate. After a double by Bickerstaff, Belleque flied out to end the inning.

At the same time, Scott Weaver of the Coast Guard befuddled the MIT batters. They could not get a baserunner until the third when Brien Pendleton '94 reached on an error by the second basemen with one out. Pendleton stole second but was stranded.

In the fourth inning, Mendell got the Engineers first hit. He got a single with two out but was forced by John Mueller '94 to end the inning.

In the fifth, the Bears threatened again. With one out, Waters singled. Another throwing error by Mendell enabled Waters to take second. He went to third on Zawrotny's single. To attempt to get another run, Zawrotny stole second but MIT's catcher Mueller threw to third to try to pick off Waters. With the infield in, Mendell induced an infield fly from King. Bickerstaff then flied out to center to snuff the threat.

Finally, MIT scored in the sixth. With one out, Jeff Olson '94 singled. Jon Gass '94 then singled Olson to second. Brian Christensen '94 forced Gass but gave the Engineers runners at the corners with two out. Mendell singled in Olson but Mueller flied out to the third basemen to end the inning.

In the seventh inning, MIT had their final chance. With one out, Dan Sabanosh '94 and Pendleton induced consecutive walks. Javier Quintero '97 was brought in to pinch hit. However, the Coast Guard countered by removing Weaver and bringing in Tom Copeland. Quintero hit into a double play to end the game.

For the record, the Bears had nine hits to the Engineers four. The big differences were errors and extra base hits. The Academy only committed one to MIT's three, two on pickoff plays by the pitcher. Also, the Bears had three extra base hits, two doubles and the home run while the Engineers could not generate any.

The highlight of the game had to be Lepard's fielding in right field. He nailed two baserunners during the game to prevent more runs from scoring.

The second game was just like the first as the baseball team still could not generate any extra base hits.

In this game, MIT threatened in the opening inning. Olson led off with a single but was forced by Gass. Christensen and Mendell followed with singles to load the bases. However, Mueller hit into a double play to end the inning.

In the second, the Coast Guard scored the only runs of the game. Bickerstaff led off with a single. Belleque then walked. Then Steve Burdian singled to load the bases. Matt White then hit a ball to the second basemen Christensen but Christensen booted the ball, scoring Bickerstaff and leaving the bases loaded. After two outs, Waters doubled in Belleque and Burdian. Zawotney grounded out to Christensen to end the inning.

In the sixth inning, the Bears threatened again. King walked and Bickerstaff singled. In a surprising and stupid move, the Coast Guard Head Coach Don Pinhey had Belleque sacrifice. However, the next two batters popped up to end the inning without anyone scoring.

In the same inning, MIT threatened. Olson led off with a single. Gass reached on a error by the pitcher. However, Christensen hit into another double play with Olson taking third. After Mendell was hit by a pitch, Mueller flied out to center to stop the final MIT threat.

In the game, the Bears had six hits while the Engineers had seven. However, extra base hits were the difference in the game. The Academy got the big double in the second inning while MIT could not get an extra base hit in this game either.

Head coach Fran O'Brien commented, "Have to give credit to their pitchers. Mendell and Lepard pitched great games. They just beat us. Have hit a bit of a slump. Throughout the season you run into slumps.