Back in the GNAC, Lions win one of four

Playing doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday, Emerson went 1-3 over the weekend to drop its record to 2-12 overall and 1-3 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.,It was another rough weekend for the Emerson College baseball team, but there were signs of improvement.

Playing doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday, Emerson went 1-3 over the weekend to drop its record to 2-12 overall and 1-3 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

On Saturday, the Lions lost to Rivier College 6-0 and 10-3. However, Sunday saw a split with Norwich University, as the Lions won 5-4 before falling in the second game, 14-2.

In the first game against Rivier, Emerson dropped a 6-0 decision that could have been much closer. Emerson squandered its best chance to score in the fifth inning when the players loaded the bases, but ultimately failed to bring a runner over the plate.

Captain Drew Sumner, a senior, had a solid outing in his six innings of work on the mound, allowing seven hits and six runs. Only three of those, however, were earned. After allowing all six runs in the first two innings of the contest, Sumner settled down to finish with four solid innings down the stretch; in the end, though, his record dropped to 0-3.

“We got great pitching all weekend,” senior Captain Lucas Einstein said. “They kept us in the games as long as they could. They gave everything they had out there and didn’t give in for one batter.”

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Lions led through four innings before Rivier exploded with eight late runs to put the game away 10-3. Freshman hurler Peter Karl had a rough outing for Emerson. In five innings, Karl allowed nine hits and eight runs to fall to 0-1 on the season.

Junior catcher Zach Wintrow was the bright spot for the Lions, hitting his first home run of the season and batting in two runs. Freshman shortstop James Fuoco also had a solid outing at the plate, going 2-3. However, Rivier had the bats to match Emerson, as two homers from Joe Gargan and another round-tripper by Franco Pisano proved too much in the end.

Sunday featured an exciting performance by the Lions, when a Nick Hesketh single in the final inning drove home the winning run to give the Lions their first GNAC victory, 5-4.

“[The win] really showed what our team is made of,” said sophomore first baseman Pete Hall. “Having that first conference victory under our belt, we know we can compete in the conference.”

Senior Chris Bilton pitched a solid game for the Lions, allowing only five hits and four runs in six and a half innings. The Lions received contributions at the plate from Wintrow, who was 2-3 with 1 RBI, and senior leftfielder Mike Cozy, who was 1-2 with 2 RBIs.

Norwich got its revenge in the second game, crushing Emerson to the tune of a 14-2 blowout. The game was 2-2 after three innings, but Norwich erupted to score 12 runs in four innings to put the game out of reach.

Junior pitcher Shane Flanagan was roughed up for Emerson, allowing two hits and seven runs in only three and a half innings of work. Einstein and senior Steve Sanda had similar troubles on the mound to finish out the game. Sanda allowed three runs in his one inning, and Einstein allowed four runs in his two innings of action.

Despite the large number of early-season letdowns, Sumner said the team is still focused on playing quality baseball.

“We’re making strides. We didn’t start out too well, but we’re playing better lately,” said Sumner. “Now we’re focused in on conference games and working hard to get to the next level.”

Einstein agreed that the team has the ability to improve upon its performance.

“We’ve got the talent and have showed glimpses of who we are as a team,” Einstein explained. “All the parts need to come together. We’re not out of it by any stretch of the imagination. We fully expect to win every conference game we play.”