WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University's baseball team won their first games of the season Saturday as the Bison swept Valley Forge Christian College 5-3, 19-4 on a blustery and bone chilling day at Hoy Field.
Junior pitcher Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) started off strong for GU as he retired the first nine batters he faced in the first game. Gallaudet (2-4) ran into some trouble in the fourth inning when Smith walked center fielder Sam Sheesley, gave up a single to second baseman Cody Nodis and loaded the bases with a walk to left fielder Matt McKenzi. Sheesley came around to score on Smith's third walk of the inning. Nodis and McKenzi both scored on a double by pitcher Josh Strohm (0-1) to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Patriots (0-2). Junior pitcher Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) came in to get the last out of the inning after first giving up a walk.
In the bottom half of the fourth, junior third baseman Chris Guinn (McCloud, Okla.) doubled down the right field line and scored on a fielding error by Nodis, after moving to third on a single by Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.), to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Bison scored three more unanswered runs, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) singled to left field and came around to score on a triple by junior center fielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine). Bissell scored the second run of the inning when junior catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) singled up the middle to give the Bison a 5-3 lead.
Barksdale (2-for-2) got the Bison on the scoreboard in the first inning with a home run over the left field fence. He finished a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with two walks, two runs and one RBI. Bissell went 3-for-4 with a triple and one RBI.
Crace (1-0) earned his first win of the season and senior pitcher Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) picked up his first save.
Strohm pitched a complete game for the Patriots and also went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Nodis went 1-for-3 with one run scored.
The Bison exploded in the second game as they scored two runs in the first, nine in the second and two in the third to take a commanding 13-0 lead. The Bison later added six runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 19-4.
In the second game, Smith went 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI and four runs scored. Bissell went 2-for-3 with a triple, six RBIs, two runs scored and one walk. Freshman designated hitter Peter LoDuca (Great Neck, N.Y.) went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and one run scored. Sophomore second baseman Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) finished 2-for-3, two runs, two RBIs, one double at the plate. Freshman pitcher Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) earned his first win of the season as he pitched five innings and struck out four batters.
Leading the Patriots at the plate was freshman pitcher Jared Boothman (0-1) who went 3-for-3 with one RBI and one walk. Nodis went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Sheesley went 1-for-3 with one triple, one run and one walk.
Gallaudet will host University of Mary Washington in a doubleheader tomorrow (Sunday, March 3) at 1 p.m.