March 26, 2012

BASEBALL | Cruz’s Bat, Jones’ Arm Lead Red to Successful Break

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Spring break was an eventful week for the Red as the team traveled down south for a nine game road stretch. The Red began the break by going up against Delaware State for three games. It matched up with Virginia Tech in a doubleheader and finished off the trip this weekend with four games against Longwood.

“[The traveling] becomes a challenge,” said sophomore Chris Cruz. “You get kind of worn out going from hotel to hotel, but overall it wasn’t too bad.”

During the first bout of games, the Red took two out of three from Delaware State. Cruz recorded four extra-base hits and six RBIs while freshman right hander Brent Jones wracked up another win to improve his record to 3-0. Cruz went 3-for-5 on the day with a double, triple, homerun and five RBI’s, which led the Red to a 16-6 victory.

In the second game, Delaware State rebounded for an 11-2 victory. Matt McClain tossed a complete game for the Hornets, settling down after the Red plated two runs in the first. He struck out seven and walked none. Freshman infielder Kevin Tatum had a single and a double for the Red, with Cruz and senior Frank Hager driving in the first-inning runs.

The Red took the final game of the series, 19-6. Hager went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, four runs and three RBI’s, and 12 different players had hits.

Returning to the road on Tuesday, the team headed to Blacksburg, Va. for a doubleheader with Virginia Tech. The Red fell to the Hokies, 9-6, in the first game. Seniors Brian Billigen and Marshall Yanzick tallied three hits and an RBI apiece. However, the Red let up five runs in the fifth inning and could not bounce back.

In the nightcap, the team got off to a quick start. But for the second straight day, the Hokies rallied for a come-from-behind victory and won 5-4. Hokie Andrew Rash was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, giving them the two-game sweep over the Red.

“The toughest team we played was Virginia Tech,” explained Cruz. “They were both really close games and one of them we lost in the ninth inning.”

In the first game against Longwood, senior infielder Marshall Yanzick went 4-for-5 with three RBI’s, extending his hitting streak to 19 games and leading the Red to a 5-1 victory. Sophomore Connor Kaufmann provided a solid outing, allowing one run on four hits. The win was the Red’s 10th victory of the season, matching its win total from all of 2011.

The Red (12-4) rallied in the second game against the Lancers (11- 12) to win, 4-3, in the ninth inning. The winning run came when junior Spencer Souza, who was pinch running, stole home on a throw back to the pitcher. The ninth inning rally started with singles by Billigen and Cruz.

Jones led the Red to another 3-1 victory over the Lancers in the final game of the series. The freshman hurled a complete game, only allowing three hits and one run, striking out eight. The offense was once again led by Cruz, who went 2-for-3 with a triple and a homerun.

The Red will play Albany today in a doubleheader, before finally returning home for the start of Ivy play against Harvard and Dartmouth.

“We are really excited for Ivy play … We are pretty excited to play both Dartmouth and Harvard. Our Dartmouth series is always a good series every year,” Cruz said.

Original Author: Haley Velasco