By Dante Quazzo
Even though baseball fans know the game is played in innings, the Bay Counties League West matchup between Drew and University was a tale of two halves on Friday at Moscone Field.
The two teams engaged in a tight battle for the first three innings, which left University up just 5-4, but the Red Devils put up another three runs in the fourth and seven runs in the sixth, to run away with a 15-4 victory.
The University rally in the sixth was aided by five walks from Drew pitchers. Supplemented by strong hitting at the plate, the Red Devils (3-3, 2-0) easily put up runs in the frame.
“My approach has always been to be aggressive and never give in to the pitcher,” said University head coach Gary Johnson.
While University exhibited strong contact skills, collecting 10 hits in the game, they also demonstrated good patience at the plate, as they racked up 10 walks that fueled offensive rallies.
University junior captain John Schember had an excellent day at the plate for University, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and four runs scored.
“I was doing my best to see the ball all the way and put a good swing on it,” Schember said. “I relaxed and focused on hitting the ball.”
Schember was also the starting pitcher for University, but was pulled after two innings. Reliever Kirk Steyer would come in later and had a superb outing on the mound, retiring all seven batters he faced while compiling three strikeouts.
Despite the result, Drew head coach Carlos Reed saw reason for optimism.
“We looked like a team today,” Reed said. “For about four innings, we looked like a team. We fell apart there in the top of the sixth, but that’s just because we’re so inexperienced. We’ve got a lot of guys who haven’t played a lot of baseball.”
Drew starting pitcher Gabe Flores has a strong game for the Dragons (1-7, 0-2), pitching five innings and scoring twice in four at-bats.
“He wasn’t helped behind him,” Reed said of the Dragons’ defense. “He did a great job throwing strikes and keeping their hitters off balance.”
Both teams look to improve on their play as they progress through their BCL West schedules.
“In order for us to be successful in league, we have to minimize our mistakes,” Johnson said. “Mentality, that would be the key.”
U – John Schember singles, Alex Indick scores
U – Jack Gale reaches on error, Schember scores
D – Max Anziano grounds out, Dan Tae scores
U – Gale reaches on fielder’s choice, Andrew Thompson and Schember score
U – John Munz grounds out, Gale scores
D – Anziano singles, Gabe Flores scores
D – Malcolm Fuller singles, Nathan Mao and Anziano score
U – Indick triples, Josiah Corbus and Ben Shapiro score
U – Thompson sacrifice fly, Schember scores
U – Schember doubles, Thompson scores
U – John O’Malley reaches on error, Schember scores
U – Corbes walks, O’Malley scores
U – Shapiro reaches on fielder’s choice, Kirk Steyer scores
U – Indick reaches on fielder’s choice, Thomas Hulley scores
U – Thompson singles, Corbus and Indick score