WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University baseball team only needed nine games in 2011 to surpass its total win total from last season (four) as the Bison swept two doubleheaders at home this past weekend. GU (6-4) swept visiting Valley Forge Christian College 23-3, 5-4 on Friday and then took down future conference opponent Lancaster Bible College 8-1, 9-5 on Saturday. These two doubleheaders were slated to be on the road but both got moved to Hoy Field due to poor field conditions at the respective schools.
Freshman outfielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) led the offensive explosion for the Bison as he batted .538 (7-for-11), scored six runs, knocked in nine RBI, slammed two home runs and collected two doubles and one triple. Bissell went deep twice against Lancaster Bible (0-4), with a home run in each game.
The 23 runs scored in a game is the most during the Coach Curtis Pride era, three seasons, and the most since a 30-7 win over Christendom College on March 10, 2008. GU only needs three more wins to set the single-season record for wins under Coach Pride.
In the sweep over the Patriots (0-2), who are members of the NCCAA, the Bison outscored Valley Forge 28-7. Last season, the Patriots ended the season for the Bison with an 8-6 loss. Senior pitcher Zane Noschese (Pittsburgh, Pa.) picked up his second win of the season as he went the distance in the first game rout. Every Bison in the starting line-up scored two or more runs and knocked in one or more RBI. Five of the batters had two or more hits. GU received two RBI from sophomore shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.), freshman second baseman Jordan Walters (Anaheim, Calif.), junior outfielder William Chapman (Los Angeles, Calif.), Bissell, freshman catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.), freshman third baseman Chris Guinn (McCloud, Okla.) and sophomore outfielder Yuri Johnston (Greensboro, N.C.).
In the second game against the Patriots the Bison had to come from behind after Valley Forge took a 4-3 lead heading into the seventh inning. Gallaudet started the game up 2-0 after the first but watched the Patriots come back on them. The Bison plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh as a fielding error, a hit-by-pitch and two clutch hits sparked the comeback. Bissell delivered the game-winner with a single to plate Barksdale and to end the game. Guinn (2-0) picked up the win as he came in on relief in the seventh inning. Freshman pitcher DJ Travaglini (Plaisow, N.H.) started the game for the Buff and Blue and went three plus innings as he allowed one run on four hits, walked five and struck out one.
On Saturday, the Bison picked up where they left off as they jumped up on Lancaster Bible (0-4) early and often. GU scored three runs in the first, and then scored a run every inning except the fourth and had two in the sixth inning. Barksdale, Chapman and Bissell knocked in two runs each. Bissell slammed a solo home run in the third inning. Junior left-hander Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) got the start and went the distance as he pitched seven strong innings as he allowed one run on eight hits, walked one and struck out two to earn his first win of the season.
GU completed the sweep of the Chargers with a 9-5 win in the second game. The Bison started the game, again, with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Every batter but two had a hit in the win as Bissell, Hicks, Noschese and Johnston knocked in two RBI. Bissell had his second home run on the day with a solo shot in the fifth inning. Chapman (1-2) went the distance to earn the third complete game for the Buff and Blue in the weekend. He struck out four batters, walked five and allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits in the win. LBC scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pull within four, 9-5.
The Bison were a terror on the base paths as they swept 28-of-29 bases in four games at home. For the season Gallaudet has 52 steals in 10 games.
Gallaudet will host a familiar team on Wednesday, March 9, when the Bison welcome former Capital Athletic Conference foe Stevenson University for one game that will start at 3 p.m.