RIVERDALE, Md. – The Gallaudet University baseball team lost both games to Muhlenberg College on a cold, blustery Saturday afternoon at the Riverdale Recreation Center Field.
The Bison (0-4) were out gunned in game one, 16-1, and were doubled up in game two, 13-6, as the Mules (2-0) began their 2012 season.
In game one, Gallaudet never got its bats going as Muhlenberg used numerous big innings to take control of the game. The Bison recorded only two hits against Muhlenberg starting pitcher, Rob Shannon, who finished with a complete game two-hitter. Shannon (1-0) struck out nine Bison, allowed one run and walked two batters.
Freshman second baseman Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) recorded both hits for the Bison in the loss. He hit a flare to center field in the bottom of the first and later took Shannon deep to left field in the seventh inning for his first collegiate home run.
Senior pitcher William Chapman (Los Angeles, Calif.) started the game for the Bison and threw two perfect innings before he ran into trouble in the third. Muhlenberg pushed across five runs in the third and tacked on two additional runs in the fourth to chase Chapman (0-2) from the game. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits, three walks and one strikeout. The Mules scored a run in every inning but the first two in the first game.
Muhlenberg left fielder John Muha went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI, two runs scored and a two-run home run in the fourth. Nick Plino pinched hit in the fifth inning and blasted a three-run homer to left field as the strong wind aided most pop ups in both games. Nick Kennedy had a solo home run to center field in the sixth.
In the second game, Muhlenberg scored early and often early on as the Mules scored three runs in the first and second innings and two in third when they led 8-0.
Muhlenberg starting pitcher Billy Rogers (1-0) retired the Bison in order through the first three innings before freshman JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Bensman recorded back-to-back singles in the fourth inning.
Gallaudet started a rally in the fifth inning as the first three Bison reached base. Sophomore catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) led-off with a walk followed by singles from sophomores Jeremy Murphy (Owings Mills, Md.) and Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.). Junior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) drew a walk against Rogers to force home a run, 8-1, and subsequently end Rogers' outing. He finished with four innings pitched as he allowed three runs on four hits, walked three and struck out six.
Klein greeted new Muhlenberg pitcher Tim Velys with a double to deep left field as Murphy and Guinn hustled around to score. Bensman then reached on a Mules error to load the bases once more. Velys was able to get out of the jam as he retired Gallaudet's No. 4, 5 and 6 batters to end the inning with the Mules up 8-3.
Muhlenberg responded with three runs of its own before Gallaudet plated three in the bottom half of the sixth inning.
Gallaudet's first three batters in the sixth reached, Hicks even scored on a Mules error to cut the lead to 11-4. Barksdale smashed his first home run of the season with a towering shot to left field that scored two runs.
The Mules added two additional runs in the seventh to finish the game.
Senior Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) started the second game for the Bison on the mound, was pulled after 2.2 innings pitched. Adams (0-2) surrendered eight runs on nine hits, walked three and struck out two in the brief outing. Relievers Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) each pitched at least two innings in the second game.
Muhlenberg was led at the plate by Joseph Vila as he finished the game 3-for-4, three runs scored, four RBI and a three-run home run in the first inning. Six batters for the Mules had multi-hit games, the team finished with 17 hits. In two games the Mules recorded five home runs against the Bison.
Gallaudet will hit the road for the first time this season on Friday, March 2, when the Bison travel to Newport News, Va., to face nationally-ranked Christopher Newport University for one game.