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Bison baseball begins conference play with a split against Cazenovia

Bison baseball begins conference play with a split against Cazenovia

CAZENOVIA, N.Y. – The Gallaudet University baseball team split its first conference doubleheader of the season on the road Saturday as the Bison faced off with Cazenovia College. GU dropped a tough 4-3 decision in the first game but followed that with a 10-3 victory over the host Wildcats in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play.

Cazenovia (7-7, 1-1 NEAC) struck first and scored the first run of the first game. Gallaudet came back and scored two runs in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Make Designated hitter Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) started off the inning with a single, followed by JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.) both being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior center fielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) reached base on an error by Cazenovia right fielder Bubba Barber scoring Klein and keeping the bases loaded. Senior first baseman Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) reached safely on a fielder's choice as Bissell was thrown out at second while Magsig raced home to score GU's second run.

Cazenovia took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning when it scored three runs. Barber hit a sacrifice fly to Bissell, which allowed Jamie Barr to score the first run. The second run was scored when Michael Makara singled and Matt Nestopolous crossed the plate safely. Kevin Fitzgerald also hit a single and scored Pat Sheperdson as the Wildcats led 4-2.

The Bison (9-15, 1-1 NEAC) scored their last run in the top of the sixth inning on a Smith RBI single that scored Adams. Smith advanced to second on an error by center fielder Chris Williams. Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) tried to advance from second to home put was thrown out at home.

Smith led the Bison at the plate going 2-for-3 with one RBI. Sophomore starting pitcher Brandon Holsworth (Beal City, Mich.) threw all six innings as he gave up four runs (one earned) off six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts as his record fell to 2-4 on the season.

Zach Levanduski (3-0) led the Wildcats at the plate and on the mound. He went 2-for-3 with one RBI and pitched seven innings giving up three runs on three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.

Gallaudet scored four runs in the fourth inning of the second game to break open a tight contest as the Bison led 5-0. Hicks reached base via hit by pitch to lead off the inning, then stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Pat Sheperdson. Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) followed and was plunked as the Bison positioned runners at the corners.  Freshman Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder to score Hicks. Mitchel Bensman (Russia, Ohio) reached first on an error as Guinn moved to second base. Klein hit a RBI single to plate Guinn and move Bensman to second base. Magsig hit a single to score Bensman and Klein.

Cazenovia scored two runs in the fifth to get on the scoreboard and cut the Bison deficit down to three, 5-2.

GU answered back with two additional runs in the top of sixth as senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) hit a two-run home run. The Bison tacked on three more runs in the seventh inning.

Tim Ackerman led Cazenovia as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.  Starting pitcher James Chase threw four innings for the Wildcats giving up five runs, on three hits, walked four and hit two batters.

Gallaudet baseball will face NEAC foe Keuka College (0-10, 0-2 NEAC) on Sunday, April 7 at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex at noon.