Site: Livonia, Mich. (Ilitch Ballpark)
Score: Madonna 6, Aquinas 5
Score: Madonna 10, Aquinas 7
Records: MU (17-9, 2-0 WHAC), AQ (6-10, 0-2 WHAC)
Next MU event: Sunday, March 18 – vs. Aquinas (Ilitch Ballpark) – 1 p.m.
LIVONIA, Mich. - - The No. 23 Madonna University baseball team opened up both its 2012 home season as well as the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference slate with a double header sweep of visiting Aquinas College on Saturday afternoon (March 17) at Ilitch Ballpark. MU won game one by a 6-5 final before collecting 14 hits in a 10-7 win in the nightcap.
The wins improved the Crusaders to 17-9 on the year and 2-0 in league play. The Saints fell to 6-10 with the losses and 0-2 in loop action.
Game One (MU as the home team in a nine inning game)
The Crusaders jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when junior right fielder Josh Deeg (Lake Orion, Mich. / Lake Orion) hit his second home run of the year, a solo shot down the right field line, for the first run of the game.
The Crusaders' lead grew to 2-0 in the second when senior second baseman Billy Hardin III (Livonia, Mich. / Detroit Catholic Central) led off the inning with a single and after moving to third on a single by junior third baseman Spencer Sarel (Brighton, Mich. / Brighton), Hardin III scored when a balk was called on AQ's Vince Misiewicz.
MU added four runs in the third to take a 6-0 edge. Deeg reached on a one-out walk and scored on a double to center by senior left fielder Dan Harder (Brighton, Mich. / Brighton) to make it 3-0. A wild pitch moved Harder to third during an at-bat that saw Hardin III draw a walk before Sarel singled to score Harder for a 4-0 lead. Hardin III and Sarel then scored on a double by senior catcher Drew Adamiec (Walled Lake, Mich. / Western) for the six-run lead.
Madonna starter Jeremy Gooding (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child Catholic) kept AQ off the board, giving up just one hit through the first five innings before the Saints got to the junior right hander for five runs in the top of the sixth. AQ opened the inning with six straight hits including doubles by Nick Kissane and Michael Wood to pull within a run, 6-5.
MU threatened in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases but could not add an insurance run.
Sophomore righty Travis Schuba (Rapid City, Mich. / Kalkaska) came in for the eighth and after surrendering a leadoff double, sent the next three hitters down in order.Junior right hander Randall Stempek (Hartland, Mich. / Hartland) came in for the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced for his third save of the season in MU's 6-5 win.
Sarel and Adamiec each had two hits for the Crusaders while Adamiec led the way with a pair of RBIs. Gooding (2-3) went the first seven innings for MU to earn his second win of the season. Gooding struck out seven batters while allowing just one walk and scattering eight hits in the win.
Game Two (MU as the "visiting team" in a seven inning game)
MU plated a pair of runs in the top of the first to claim a 2-0 lead before AQ even came to the plate. Deeg reached on a one-out single and courtesy runner Tyler Cotter (Livonia, Mich. / Churchill) then stole second. Harder drew a walk to put two on for sophomore shortstop Victor Barron (Fowlerville, Mich. / Fowlerville). Barron then tripled down the right field line to score both runners for the first two MU runs of the game.
Deeg worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning with a little help from his defense as the Crusaders turned a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Royal Blue and Gold added another run in both the second and third innings for a 4-0 lead. Deeg drove in senior first baseman Garrett Rebain in the second for a 3-0 edge before Hardin III reached ona single in the third and came home on a wild pitch two patters later for the 4-0 score.
The Crusaders scored again in the fifth when junior pinch hitter Austin Delmotte (Romeo, Mich. / Romeo) singled home Hardin III who led off the inning with a single before moving to second on a walk to Rebain.
Aquinas got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Grigonis doubled home Austin King and Wood to cut the Madonna lead to 5-2 after six complete.
The Crusaders added five runs in the top of the seventh and the insurance proved to be important. Sarel led off with a single and moved to second when the bunt by junior Logan Curtis (Brooklyn, Mich. / Columbia Central) was misplayed, allowing both runners to be safe. Sarel moved to third on a failed pick off attempt and Curtis stole second to put two runners in scoring position for sophomore catcher Donny Holland (White Lake, Mich. / Lakeland). Holland reached on a fielder's choice that did not record an out and scored Sarel for a 6-2 lead. Junior Matthew Cook (Dresden, Ontario / Lambton Kent Secondary) then pinch hit and singled down the right field line to score Curtis and push the MU lead to 7-2.
Deeg then doubled to right to score junior Alex Charles (Farmington Hills, Mich. / Brother Rice Catholic) and Adamiec to make it a 9-2 game. Cotter followed two batters later with a single that scored sophomore Ryan Lech (Macomb, Mich. / L'Anse Creuse North) for a 10-2 lead.
Jake Roe led off the last of the seventh for AQ with a single and moved to third on Greg Baranyai's double. An infield single by Brent Steele scored Roe to trim the MU lead to 10-3. A single to center by pinch hitter Taylor Pawlanta scored Baranyai for a 10-4 game. Deeg then got Penny on strikes before King reached on a fielder's choice that recorded Pawlanta out at second. Kissane then stepped in and hit a three-run homer to straight away left that made it 10-7. Deeg settled back in and got Wood to ground out to Sarel at third for the final out of the game and a 10-7 win.
Deeg (2-2) struck out seven while walking just two in picking up his second win of the season. Kevin Schafer (1-2) took the loss for AQ, giving up five runs on 10 hits.
Deeg helped his own cause at the plate, goung 4-for-5 with three RBIs while Cotter, Hardin III and Sarel all picked up a pair of hits. King and Kissane each had two hits for AQ with Kissane driving in three.
The two teams close their series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. double header at Ilitch Ballpark.
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