By Brett Gibson/Sports editor
The Eastern baseball team moves its record to 6-10 on the year after spending Spring Break in Florida playing in the Florida All-Star Baseball Challenge.“I thought we played well at times. We made a few mistakes in crucial situations, but as the week went on and the more we played the more consistent we became,” head coach Elvis Dominguez said.
The Colonels began the tournament with a couple of wins over Fairleigh Dickinson, 5-0, and Northeastern University, 5-1.
Eastern’s first game against Fairleigh Dickinson, the Colonels jumped on top early in the first inning as center fielder Josh Anderson led off with a walk and a stolen base. Anderson then moved to third base on a groundout and later scored on a double from junior third baseman Neil Sellers putting Eastern on the board, 1-0.
In the bottom of the second inning, Eastern added three more runs to the board when first baseman Will Whiseant reached first on an error and then moved to second off an error. He then took third from a wild pitch before right fielder Andy Polzin and left fielder Stephen Carter walked to load the bases with two outs. Coming back around in the lineup was Anderson who knocked in Whiseant on a single and then moved to second from a throwing error by the Knights. Eastern ended the inning with a 4-0 lead.
Eastern put another run on the scoreboard as Sellers walked and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Adam Visnic. Sellers scored on a groundout by Whiseant to move the Colonels up 5-0.
Freshman Nick Barte gave Eastern a complete game and his first win on the year against Fairleigh Dickinson.
In Eastern’s second game of the tournament, Anderson started off the game with a lead-off single in the first inning, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field.
Northeastern came back in the top of the second when a double scored a run tying the score at one.
Eastern would regain the lead in the fifth inning where Polzin led with a single and moved to second off of a wild pitch. Catcher Chris Clark singled to put runners on first and third and the Colonels ended the inning with a 3-1 lead.
Eastern then came through with an RBI double by Clark allowing Jonathan Woodard to score, pushing the Colonels lead to three, 4-1. Eastern added another run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Eastern the win, 5-1.
Eastern vs. Vermont
Eastern dropped two games during the second day of the Florida All-Star Baseball Challenge losing to Vermont, 7-0, and Massachusetts, 7-4.
Eastern opened up day two of the tournament to Vermont holding them to only one run through six innings of play before Vermont rallied to score six runs in the final inning on four hits.
Eastern’s starting pitcher Scott Goetz gave up five earned runs on nine hits while striking out three of Vermont’s batters in seven innings pitched. Eastern came out with only three hits during the game.
Eastern vs. UMass
In the second game of the day, Eastern’s Clark made his first start as a pitcher against UMass. UMass scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning putting Eastern down early, 4-0. Eastern came back in the top of the fifth inning with four runs of their own as Woodard bunted for a base hit single and scored on a home run by Stephen Carter. Anderson followed with a single and stole second while Brett Bolger walked to put runners on first and second. Sellers knocked in Anderson and Bolger with a single to left field to bring the score back even, 4-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, UMass added two more runs to the board as Eastern’s Greg Harper came in to relieve Clark. UMass then put yet another run on the score board to extend its lead as a final score of 7-4.
Anderson and Carter gave Eastern two hits for the game while Carter and Sellers drove in two runs in a losing effort.
Eastern vs. Northeastern
Eastern battled in the ninth inning to come up with a victory over Northeastern, 7-6.
Eastern got on top early leading the game 1-0, but saw its lead cut down as Northeastern went on top 4-1. The Colonels came back to score two runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and three runs in the ninth for the win.
Pitcher Brandon Scott delivered the win for Eastern allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out two batters.
Eastern took on in-state rival Western Kentucky University yesterday, but the scores and highlights were too late for press deadline.
“Its more of a fact of us learning how to win,” Dominguez said. “We are concentrating on learning and finding a way to win.”