UMES DROPS HOME OPENER DESPITE STRONG FRESHMAN PITCHING
Feb. 19, 2005
Princess Anne, MD - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Fighting Hawk Baseball got the home portion of their season under way today in the frigid winds of Hawk Stadium. UMES, who had struggled with pitching in their first five games, got a solid outing from Freshman Brad Powell but couldn't string any hits together and fell 10-0.
Powell gave UMES (0-6) a good start. He went six innings, giving up nine hits and four earns, three were earned. Despite spotting the Jaspers of Manhattan College (1-0) two runs in the first the Hawks got their bats going right away getting a lead off hit from Joel Maher and a single through the right side from left fielder Craig Munch. Three were two outs when senior Rob Benak dropped down a bunt single to load the bases. That was the first time the Hawks failed to plate runners who were in scoring position as Bernie Stratchko grounded out to short.
The Hawks wouldn't get another hit until fifth. That came on another Maher hit, this time to left field. The big hit of the day came in the sixth inning off the bat of catcher Justin Hoban who nearly cleared the fence in left field. It turned into a double.
UMES got two more hits in the seventh. Eric Gaines hit a one out single through the left side. His speed was a distraction for Jasper pitching as they attempted six pickoff attempts before Craig Munch got his second hit of the day, this time into left field. After a strike out Benak drew a walk to load the bases. While Stratchko was in a battle at the plate Benak got caught just off of first base to end the inning. That would end the offensive production for the Hawks for the rest of the day. They recorded just seven hits and stranded 11 runners.
Manhattan could only get a one run an inning (the third, sixth, and seventh) until the ninth inning when they took advantage of relief pitcher Dusty Webster. Webster struggled to find the plate and after getting the lead-off hitter to ground out, allowed a walk, a double down the left field line by Matt Rizzotti, his fourth hit of the day, and then two more walks, to walk in Gary Diaz who was on third. Benak came out of his designated hitter spot to pitch and walked Sly Gutierrez for another Jasper run. He got Phil Kuhner to strike out, the Hawks first of the day. Then an error in left field cost the Hawks three unearned runs. UMES closed out the inning on a Eric Nieto strikeout but was unable to produce in the bottom, falling 10-0.
Maher and Much had two hits apiece and Gaines, Benak, and Hoban all collected a hit each.
Rizzotti went 4-5 on the day and Khuner was 3-5. John Fitzpatrick and Nieto had two hits each. The Jaspers as a team collected 14. Fitzpatrick had two RBIs while Sly Gutierrez, Pat Reynolds, and Rizzotti had one each.
The Hawks were originally scheduled to play two seven-inning games today but the wind and cold forced one game. UMES will play two tomorrow, starting at 11:00 am, when the forecast is a few degrees warmer against the same Jasper squad.