By Nicole Apicelli
The College’s baseball team started its season with a roar, defeating Ursinus College at George Ackerman Park on Wednesday. The moment the national anthem concluded, the team took their positions and zoned in on their prey.
Ben Amon, a junior and the starting pitcher for the College, produced a near one-two-three inning to begin the game. Amon faced and retired four Ursinus batters to set the tone for the rest of the night.
Joey Mullen of Ursinus experienced an undesirable debut when he took the mound in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Mike Lagravenis for the College arrived safely at first base when his ground ball was bobbled in the infield. Lagravenis then stole second before catcher Ryan Goodall’s shot to the outfield was dropped — allowing the Lions to score the first run of the night.
With two outs, designated hitter Chris Reeder and infielder Joe Oczkowski hit back-to-back doubles, each bringing in a run to give the Lions a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, Amon executed a perfect one-two-three inning — which eliminated any opportunity for a response from the Ursinus Bears. Their next turn at bat, the Lions led 4-0 with no outs, inspiring a pitching change mid-inning for Ursinus.
The new pitcher, T.J. Snyder, found himself unable to clean up Mullen’s mess as the College began another scoring spree with two outs. The fans were not only riled up from the 6-0 score at the end of the inning, but also by the three foul balls that made their way into the crowd.
Amon threw another one-two-three inning in the third, which would have been out of reach if not for the diving-catch by center fielder Michael Schumacher during the first at bat.
Seemingly performing at their best under the pressure of two out situations, the Lions scored a run to bring their lead to 7-0.
Amon gave up a walk in the fourth inning, but quickly recovered as he threw the player out at first for leading. The College experienced their first scoreless inning of the night as Snyder nearly obtained his first one-two-three inning of the game.
Connor Bogansky took the mound for the Bears in the fifth inning and gave up four runs – which substantially widened the scoring gap. The Lions danced around freely near the bench in celebration, which looked much different than their choreographed performance a few weeks earlier with the College’s dance team.
A wild pitch at the top of the sixth allowed Ursinus to score two runs. Following a meeting on the mound, Amon proudly touched gloves with his teammates and handed the ball over to junior Matthew Crawford — who struck out the first batter he faced and ended the inning.
Ursinus also changed pitchers in the sixth and brought up Alex Crocamo, who gave up one run to bring the score to 12-2. Crawford held his ground for the Lions in the seventh inning, only giving up one run.
Ursinus brought in yet another new pitcher in the bottom of the seventh. The Lions scored their final run of the night to reach the final score of 13-3 during another two out situation.
The Bears made one final pitching change in the bottom of the eighth as David Morgan was thrown into the mix. Alec Schwartz pitched a one-two-three inning for the Lions in the ninth – officiating the College’s first victory of the season.
The Lions are set to face Albright College on March 8 at 3 p.m. at George Ackerman Park.