LAKELAND, Fla. – The Gallaudet University baseball team opened up the RussMatt Invitational in good fashion Saturday afternoon as they beat Rivier College, 8-1, at John Rodda Field in Lakeland, Fla.
The Bison (3-5) got a solid pitching effort from sophomore pitcher Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.). Smith (1-1) worked a scoreless seven innings as he struck out five batters and walked one. Rivier (1-7) only managed to scatter six hits against Smith.
Gallaudet was led at the plate by junior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.), who started the game with a home run to left field. He finished 2-for-5 from the plate with two runs scored, one RBI and a stolen base.
Freshman left fielder JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) also had an outstanding game as he finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, walked twice and knocked in one run. Sophomore center fielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) scored twice and had a double, triple as he finished 2-for-4 from the plate.
Gallaudet used Barksdale's home run to spark a five-run first inning. Klein would single and later score off of an RBI double from Bissell, who later scored on a throwing error. Senior first baseman Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) followed with a single and scored when sophomore catcher Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) ripped a single through the right side of the infield. Rivier would finally get out of the inning with a double play but the damage had been done as the Bison led 5-0.
That would be more then enough for Smith as he would allow only five more hits over the next six innings pitched. Rivier's only multi-hit inning against Smith would come in the seventh when the Raiders recorded two hits.
The Bison would put the game out of reach in the fifth and sixth innings. Bissell tripled to start the fifth and would score on a fielder's choice by senior William Chapman (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Gallaudet scored two more insurance runs in the sixth inning with two outs. Barksdale reached on an error and later scored on Klein's double. Freshman Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) made it back-to-back doubles to plate Klein as GU led 8-0.
Rivier's only run came in the eighth inning against GU pitcher Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) when JJ Montello laid down a sacrifice bunt to score pinch-runner Lucas Palma from third base. Palma's run counted due to interference on Gallaudet.
In the ninth inning, senior pitcher Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) closed out the game as he struck out the side. Raider pitcher Bryar King (1-1) took the loss after pitching a complete game.
Gallaudet will be back in action tomorrow (Sunday, March 12) as the Bison are slated to play a doubleheader against Daniel Webster at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Fla. The first game is scheduled to start 1:30 p.m.