AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Gallaudet University dropped the first baseball contest of its seven-game spring break trip as they fell to Clarkson University by a score of 26-15 Sunday evening in Auburndale, Fla.
Despite jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, the Bison (4-10) were unable to stem an offensive outburst by the Golden Knights (2-2), who racked up seven runs on six hits and one GU error in the bottom half of the first frame. Starting pitcher Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) was unable to record an out as he was pulled from the game after allowing three runs on four consecutive singles and a walk separated by a Bison fielding error. Relief pitcher junior Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) gave up two more singles, before inducing a fielder's choice and two fly outs to end the inning. Unfortunately, the damage was already done with Smith ultimately taking credit for six runs (four earned).
Gallaudet mounted its largest comeback effort in the top of the fourth inning with six runs on six hits, highlighted by a two-RBI double from senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) to cut the Clarkson lead to four, 13-9. However, that was the closest the Bison would get as the Golden Knights scored at least two runs in each of the final four innings.
The Bison pitching staff struggled throughout the contest with six different Bison pitchers allowing at least one run. Though Smith was the losing pitcher, Crace lasted the longest as he allowed seven runs (all earned) in 2.1 innings. Sophomore reliever Larry Kohler Jr. (Union City, Calif.) was the lone Gallaudet pitcher to escape unscathed. He tossed 1.2 scoreless innings in which he allowed only one hit.
Barksdale and freshman Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) helped power the Bison offense with three hits apiece. Barksdale also added three runs and five RBIs with one walk, while Rippy contributed two runs and one RBI with one base on balls. Senior Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) and junior Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) recorded two hits each.
Clarkson pitcher Jamie Terry earned the win as he allowed one earned run over 2.2 innings of relief, while first baseman Nolan Driscoll led the Golden Knights' offensive charge with four runs scored and four RBI on five hits including three doubles.
Gallaudet will have the opportunity to record its first win of the road trip as they take on Westfield State University in a doubleheader in Auburndale tomorrow (Monday, March 26) at 2:30 p.m.