WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University baseball team completed its first doubleheader sweep in nearly a year as the Bison took two from non-conference opponent Lancaster Bible College on a windy Thursday at Hoy Field. Gallaudet had to rally in the eighth inning of the first game after it had led by as much as five runs going into the seventh inning (the final inning in doubleheader format). The Bison scored the game-winning run in the eighth on a throwing error from the right fielder as Gallaudet won the three-hour game 8-7. In the second game, the Bison bats came alive as they scored two or more runs in four different innings. The teams held off an approaching severe thunderstorm and darkness to complete the game in seven innings with Gallaudet on top 10-2.
Freshmen Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) and Yuri Johnston (Greensboro, N.C.) had career days as they performed well at the plate and in the field. Barksdale had a hand in ending the first game as he singled to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lancaster Bible right fielder Chad Hollinger tried to gun down the lead runner junior Zane Noschese (Pittsburgh, Pa.) at third base but the errant throw allowed Noschese to score the winning run. Barksdale also had a RBI triple in the first game in the two-run sixth inning. Barksdale finished the day 4-for-8 at the dish where he scored two runs and recorded five RBIs. Johnston batted 4-for-7 between the two games as he scored twice and drove in four runners.
Gallaudet had every batter in its line-up get a hit except one in both games. The Bison combined for 24 hits between the two games and 18 runs. GU was also better in the field as it only committed four fielding errors in the doubleheader.
Lancaster Bible (5-10) led 2-0 early on in the first game before Gallaudet pushed across five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Bison had five of their 14 hits in that inning as they took a 5-2 lead. GU added two more runs in the sixth and only needed three outs to end the game.
Sophomore Jeremy Shepps (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), the starting pitcher in the first game, had been mowing down the Chargers line-up before they battled back to tie the game in the seventh. The big blow came off the bat of catcher Frank DiFilippo (3-for-4, four RBIs) as he used the strong wind to his advantage and blasted a three-run home run to the opposite field (right field) to tie the game at 7-7. It was DiFilippo’s second home run in the game as his solo home run in the fourth inning mirrored the game-tying home run. The Chargers loaded the bases against Shepps but he got out of the jam.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the second batter for the Bison was Noschese who singled up the middle. He would then score the winning run off Barksdale’s single and Hollinger’s throwing error.
Shepps (2-6) went the distance in the first game as he allowed seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits, walked two and recorded a tied season best nine strikeouts.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) toed the rubber in the second game for the Bison. Gallaudet jumped to an early 4-0 lead after two innings to give Hastings (1-6) some breathing room. Hastings made up for his struggles at the plate where he was held hitless and went to work against the Chargers as he pitched a complete game and earned his first win this season. The 6-foot left-hander finished the game with five strikeouts, no walks and allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings.
Offensively, Barksdale, Johnston and junior Kyle Kuschmider (Olathe, Kan.) had two or more RBIs. Every batter for the Bison scored a run except for Kyle Kuschmider (one double). Shepps had two hits including his ninth double of the season. The Bison scored runs in every inning but the third.
The last doubleheader sweep for Gallaudet came against Christendom College on April 26 on the road to end the season with an 8-23-1 record. Four days before the Bison took two from Christendom at home.
The month of April finds the Bison playing 16 of 19 games at Hoy Field including an 11-game homestand that started today. Gallaudet continues its homestand on Saturday, April 10, as the Bison welcome St. Joseph’s from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Washington, D.C., for a non-conference doubleheader that starts at 1 p.m.