The fall season ended this weekend in the best way possible, with a 3 game sweep of the Indiana Hoosiers! Despite temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, the offense heated up, leading the team to 15-5, 15-5, and 12-2 victories. Scoring 42 runs in one series took some outstanding offensive performances, notably from the legendary Brendan Hird, who collected 10 hits and 7 RBIs in the series, including 3 doubles and 3 triples. Senior Tony Grenier launched his first career homerun, and senior Zach Phillips also had a dinger of his own. Grad student Patrick Gray, playing in his first game after a four year hiatus from baseball, had 7 hits in 9 at-bats over the weekend. These were just a few of the many impressive individual performances that led to three great team wins. Here is a summary of each game:
Game 1: After Indiana opened the first with a run, the offense lit up. President Joe Corcoran, king of getting on base, worked a walk in his first at-bat, Brendan Hird knocked in two later that inning with his first triple of the weekend, and the offense never slowed down after that, recording at least a run in every frame. The score was 6-1 Irish in the 4th, with sophomore Peter Mercurio still on the bump after 3 strong innings. Indiana showed some fight, clawing back to a one-run deficit, before junior Patrick Harris came in to shut down the rally and keep the lead, 6-5. It was all Irish from that point on, as Hird lead off the fourth with another triple to his favorite place on the field, the right-center gap. Junior Jimmy Guckenberger followed with a double high off the left-center field fence, and Tony Grenier topped it all off with a homerun. Senior Andrew Conces threw two scoreless innings to finish the game, while the offense kept rolling until the slaughter rule ended the game at 15-5. Junior Jack Molumphy reached base 4 times, and Josh Dippold provided 4 quality at-bats, each of them assisting the already potent offense. Behind the dish for the game was Junior Cole Pickford, who was catching his first game since high-school. His fantastic performance included a clutch pick-off in the first inning and a runner caught trying to steal in the 5th. This stellar team performance in the game one beatdown set the tone for a successful weekend.
Game 2: Jake Fuehrmeyer started the game on the mound, and began the game with 2 scoreless innings. Patrick Gray helped break the scoreless tie by leading off the 2nd with a double and then advancing and scoring on passed balls. Indiana countered with 2 runs in the third, but then the top of the order for the Irish continued to rake. Corcoran led off with a single, Molumphy walked, and Hird smashed a double through the gap, scoring two. He scored on a wild pitch, taking a 4-2 lead into the fourth. Once again, Indiana’s offense showed up, ripping a 3-run homer over the right-field wall to retake the lead, 5-4. Of course, the Irish came right in the bottom of the fourth, batting completely around the order and putting up a 7 spot. Key hits in the inning came from Junior Kyle Cockrell, Dippold, Guckenberger, and Hird. This 11-5 lead was never relinquished as Pat Harris shut down the Indiana offense in the 5th. Molumphy led off the bottom of the 5th with a triple, and following singles from Guckenberger and Gray, Zach Phillips ended the game as a slaughter with a two-run homer off the top of the left field wall for yet another 15-5 Irish win.
Game 3: With a series win in the books, the Irish called on ace Kyle Cockrell to pitch the finale. A pitching duel ensued, and the Irish eventually tied the game at 1 in the 4th inning with Cole Pickford’s second hit of the game. The Irish evened the score once again in the 5th, with Hird singling and eventually scoring on an RBI groundout by Guckenberger, and finally took the lead in the 6th after Josh Dippold reached on a walk, took second and third on wild pitches, and scored on a dropped third strike. Thanks to 6 impressive innings by Cockrell, the Irish had a 3-2 lead after the 6th. After Freshman Brady Labahn shutdown Indiana offense in the top of the 7th, assisted by an incredible diving play at third by Fuehrmeyer and a nifty scoop at first by Phillips, the Irish offense put up a 9 spot to once again finish the game in a slaughter rule, 12-2. Hird continued to mash the baseball with a triple and a double in the same inning, while Corcoran, Mercurio, and Dippold also had key RBI hits. This game capped off a perfect weekend of baseball in which the Irish outscored Indiana 42-12.
We would like to thank everyone for the support throughout the fall baseball season! Our 6-1 record proved that we can contend for not only the conference title, but also the regional and national titles. While we will surely enjoy the short break from baseball, we are all looking forward to continue the success into the spring!
Here is a link for the stats: