'Stangs sweep Warriors

Rookie pitchers deliver in the clutch

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western men's baseball

Jon Purdy

NEXT TIME LET'S TRY THE 'HIGH TEN'. Clarke Markle and his teammates had plenty to celebrate about on Sunday, as they won both games in a doubleheader against the Waterloo Warriors.

The Waterloo Warriors could only watch as the Mustangs followed a 4-0 shutout with another 2-1 victory on Sunday at Labatt Park.

Western returned home after their first loss of the season at Laurier on Saturday to host the Waterloo Warriors in their second doubleheader in two days.

Rookie Jeff Edmonson threw 5 1/3 shutout innings in his first start for Western. He had a strong showing for the ’Stangs, giving up just four hits while tallying seven strikeouts on the afternoon.

Edmonson showed his ability to control the game by working himself out of a jam in the fourth inning with the bases loaded.

“We battled in both games,” he said. “We had a couple of tough situations that we got out of. It’s a real test of adversity and we came out on top so it’s good to see the team pull together.”

Western’s offence took to the third inning with an RBI single by Conrad Bach. Shortly after, Bach scored on designated hitter Ben Rich’s line drive down the first base line.

While the Warriors posted nothing but zeros across the scoreboard, the Mustangs made sure not to sit on an early lead.

Clarke Markle moved himself around the bases and manufactured a run on a wild throw-out attempt at third to tally an extra run on the board. Mark DiGiulio came up in the sixth with an insurance RBI to polish off a 4-0 win.

Mustangs closer Trevor Greenway took the mound for the final inning of game one and worked back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.

“It was a matter of focus,” Rich said. “We came out from the very first pitch of the first game to the last out with more focus in every aspect of the game: base-running, pitching, hitting and defence.”

The Mustangs showcased another new starter in game two of the double header. Jeff Newnes pitched 5 1/3 innings and was charged with just one run on two hits.

In the first inning, designated hitter Conrad Bach hit a two-out single. Bach stole second and then scored on Sean Grimes’ RBI blast to left centre field.

Western came back in the third inning looking for a more comfortable lead. Rookie Shawn Robinson scored on a wild pitch to put the ’Stangs up 2-0.

The Warriors fought back in the sixth inning to load the bases on Newnes. Jordan Townsend entered the game in relief and gave up one run on a sacrifice fly. The suspenseful inning ended with a force out at second that left the Mustangs ahead by one.

Jeremy Heffernan came out of the bullpen for the seventh inning to get the save. With the tying run at third base and zero outs, Heffernan reached for his best stuff and left the Warriors looking with three consecutive called strikeouts to end the game.

Waterloo head coach Brian Bishop talked of his team’s struggles with Western’s clutch pitching.

“If we keep watching pitches go by with runners in scoring position, we’re not going to do very well,” Bishop said.

The Mustangs have been plagued with low scoring games this season. Rich commented on the need to improve the run total.

“We can’t expect to keep winning these games 2-1 and 4-0,” Rich said. “We’ve got to put a few more runs on the board. That’s something to work toward for the rest of the season.”

The Mustangs currently sit in first place in Ontario University Athletics baseball with a record of 6-1.

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