Western bats come alive versus Blues

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Sliding into the base

Jon Purdy

NEXT TIME I'LL REMEMBER TO WEAR GOGGLES. While infielder Mark DiGiulio took a face full of dirt on this play, it was the Mustangs who dished out most of the punishment on this night, dismantling Toronto 18-5.

While the Western Mustangs men’s baseball team’s low-scoring offence worried some players, all worries were quickly hurled out the window at Labatt Park on Tuesday night.

The squad pumped out hit after hit against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues’, scoring 15 runs over the first four innings en route to an 18-5 blowout.

The team tallied four runs in the first inning alone, matching their previous season high. Western batters continued to thrash the Blues pitching staff over the next three innings in a game highlighted by an eight-run third inning.

Toronto starting pitcher G. Singh was pulled after allowing seven runs, and the Blues bullpen failed to quiet the Mustangs offence as the team scored in every inning. By the end of the game, Western had roughed up the Blues for 18 runs on an astonishing 21 hits.

The team was led by second baseman Bruce Craine. The veteran finished the night 5-for-5, with three RBIs and two runs scored.

“It was nice to get a game like that out of the way,” Craine said. “We’ve been struggling with the bats lately, so pounding out 21 hits was good for everybody, and hopefully it got us on a roll.”

Regarding his personal performance, Craine credited the team.

“Guys got on base ahead of me, and it makes it pretty easy to hit with this lineup,” he said.

Second year pitcher Jordan Townshend dominated the Blues, throwing four shutout innings for the win. He allowed only two hits, and struck out seven batters, including striking out the side in the third. Four different Mustangs pitchers were used over the final three innings, surrendering five earned runs.

The Mustangs played aggressive baseball, using their energy and hustle to create plays. Along with many infield hits, the players stole bases and forced the Blues to make plays defensively.

Western took advantage of the early offensive outpour by inserting many of the team’s rookies into the game.

“I’ve been waiting to get my shot to play as much as I can,” outfielder Ian Campbell said. “I was hoping the whole game we’d get a big lead so us young guys could get a chance.”

Campbell embraced the chance to play, crushing a double deep to centre field for his first career university hit.

“The hit was a long time coming. It was a good team effort all around.”

The veterans on the team were excited to see the younger players on the field and are confident regarding the team’s young core.

“The good thing about a game like this is you get to put a lot of the young guys in. They did a great job and they will be impact players very soon,” Craine said. “There is definitely a bright future here at Western.”

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