Men’s baseball clobbers Queens in season-opening doubleheader

The men’s baseball team opened a promising season with a dominant pair of performances against the Queens Gaels Sept. 7.

The Warriors took the first game in an impressive fashion, running roughshod over the Gaels with a 14–4 victory, and followed that up with a 7–1 drubbing. The games might have been even more lopsided had they been full nine innings: this year’s OUA structure has each team play one another twice per season in back-to-back fashion, with each game of the double-header lasting only seven frames.

Masters student Adam Lentz started the first game and picked up the win on the back of five innings of three-run ball. He allowed one run and struck out three while walking two.

“[Lentz has] been around the league a long time,” head coach Tim Pegg said. “He knows how to pitch in this league, he knows how to approach the hitters, and the other day was just a great start for him.”

On the other side of the plate, the Warriors managed to get on base at an incredible rate, drawing 13 walks from Queens’ pitchers and racking up 10 hits. The OUA’s 2013 rookie of the year  Michael Clouthier had an excellent start to his season with a double, a homer, and three runs batted in. Rookie Kyle Balzereit may follow in Clouthier’s footsteps after opening his OUA career with three hits, a home run, and an RBI.

“I’d put our offence up against any team in the OUA this season,” Pegg boasted.

The position players backed up Lentz, and relievers Jay Flannigan and Scott Robbins with strong defence. Middle infielders Nolan Pettipiece and Jimmy McCullough combined for eight assists.

The second game followed in a similar fashion. Second-year starter Ryne Weppler gave up no earned runs over six innings with four strikeouts, and Ben Tinklin struck out three for the final inning. The batters racked up nine hits, making most of their runs off of small-ball.

“Last year, when we recruited [Weppler], we knew that he had a lot of potential,” Pegg said. “But the season he had last year for us, he was 5–0 with a 2.7 ERA. You don’t expect to see that out of a rookie. So coming into this year, the expectation we have on Ryne are pretty high, we expect him to be a key piece of the pitching staff.”

The Warriors, with their collection of seasoned veterans and exciting young players, are likely to have a strong season.

“If we don’t finish in the top five at the end of the season [and make the playoffs], I wouldn’t consider this season a success,” Pegg said. “With the roster that we’ve put together for this year, I think we’ve got a really good chance of having a good regular season and going deep into the playoffs.”

As to what Pegg expects for this Saturday’s Battle of Waterloo at Bechtel Park against Laurier?

“Obviously, they’re the defending champions, so they’re going to have a lot of swagger coming into that game. Both teams seem to get up for that game, Laurier versus Waterloo, and baseball is no exception.”