WASHINGTON, D.C. – At one point on a picturesque Saturday afternoon at Hoy Field the Gallaudet University baseball team only trailed visiting St. Joseph’s College-Brooklyn 1-0 through four innings in the second game of the doubleheader. The Bison imploded as a finger injury forced starting pitcher Danny Gabel (Staten Island, N.Y.) out of the game and left GU shuffling pitchers in-and-out over the final three innings where the Bears scored 21 runs. St. Joseph’s swept the doubleheader 15-3 and 22-0 as each game went seven innings.
Gallaudet (3-26) was down 9-0 in the second game and only needed three outs to get to the bottom of the seventh where the Bison hoped to make a rally. Nearly 40 minutes later the hopes of a comeback were put on ice as the Bears scored 13 runs on two hits in the top of the seventh.
Freshman pitcher Angelo Leccese (North Bellmore, N.Y.) lost the strike zone and control as the first eight batters he faced in the seventh were either hit by the pitch or were issued a walk. Leccese’s sixth walk of the game, fifth in the inning, forced Gallaudet coach Curtis Pride to insert sophomore pitcher Brook Fox (Ballwin, Mo.). Fox walked two batters and hit one as he gave up the final three runs of the game. Gallaudet’s defense committed two errors in the seventh to prolong the inning. The Bears battled around twice in the inning. In fact, three different players batted in the eighth spot in the lineup for the Bears in the seventh inning alone. The rare pinch-hitter for a pinch-hitter substitution, in the same inning, occurred in that spot.
Subsequently, the Bears only needed seven pitches and two minutes to retire the Bison in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Gabel (0-1) took the hard luck loss as he pitched four and a third innings, his longest stint this season, as he allowed six runs (four earned) on five hits, three walks, three hit batters and one wild pitch. It was Gabel’s longest and most impressive appearance since March 5 against nationally ranked Salisbury University. The sophomore left-hander left the game in the fifth due to injury. Junior AJ Williams (Albuquerque, N.M.) came in and faced three batters and walked two before he was lifted for Leccese.
This is the 10th shutout loss for the Bison this season, the nine hit batters is a season-high, the 13 walks is the second highest total on the year and the 22 runs surrendered is third most. Opponents have now outscored Gallaudet 48-1 in the seventh inning and the Bison are 0-20 when opponents score 10 or more runs in a game.
GU had its chances to score in the game as the Bison had runners on base the first four innings and the sixth. The Bison left runners on second and third in the first inning as Bears starter Chris Davidson (2-2) struck out two batters to get out of the jam. In the second inning, GU had runners on first and second with one out but couldn’t push across a run. In the third, freshman Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) led off with a double to left-center field but was later stranded on third base as the Bears got the next three batters. Through the first three innings of play Davidson recorded seven strikeouts en route to 11 in the game.
In the first game, St. Joseph’s scored two runs in the second inning and held a 2-0 advantage going into the fifth inning where the Bears plated seven runs. GU got one run back in the bottom half but the Bear added five more in the sixth and one in the seventh for insurance. The Bison manufactured two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Freshman Steven Gosselin (Hayward, Calif.) took the loss, his third of the season, as he allowed six runs on seven hits, walked five, hit one, threw two wild pitches and struck out two. Bears starting pitcher Keith Juricich (2-1) threw a complete game as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, walked none and struck out four.
Sophomore shortstop Jeremy Shepps (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) had a RBI triple in the sixth to score Barksdale. Shepps then scored on a ground out by sophomore Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.).
The two teams faced each other last year at Hoy Field as the Bears won 9-4 and 6-1.
Gallaudet continues its longest homestand of the season as the Bison make-up a doubleheader with Penn St.-Altoona on Wednesday, April 14, with the first game set to start at 2 p.m.