ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The Brock Badgers have one of the deepest teams in the OUA and showed the Ryerson Rams that depth in sweeping them in a hard fought doubleheader. Ryerson held their own against the Badgers, but Brock is a relentless team that capitalizes on other teams' mistakes and Ryerson made a few too many.
Brock 4 – Ryerson 3
Baseball is a game of inches. In the bottom of the ninth inning, with a runner at first and no one out of a tie game, a liner off the bat of Badgers second baseman Matt Legg was an inch from being a spectacular catch by pitcher Quinn Cumming. That could have led to a double play with the runner going, but ended up being a single that would eventually set up the winning run scoring on a Ryerson error to give the Badgers a 4-3 win.
Ryerson starters Cumming and Jeremias Sucre have received much of the attention due to their dominant individual performances. But right-hander Caleb King has quietly put together a consistent and impressive season in his final year in the OUA. He leads the league in innings pitched and has pitched deep into the game in every start.
King has been a tough luck starter, and has yet to win this season even though he has pitched well. On Sunday, he was once again locked in a pitching battle this time with Brock right-hander Derek Zwolinski. King would pitch seven innings surrendering three runs (two earned) on nine hits and one walk; while Zwolinski would have a three hit, eight inning performance surrendering three runs (1 earned).
“He each did exactly what his done all year; give us great outings that put us in a position to win the ballgame,” said head coach Ben Rich about King’s performance.
Ryerson scored first in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Cumming. The Ryerson ace made his first appearance in the lineup, as the designated hitter. Brock took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with two runs on a Legg single and Rams error.
In the top of the seventh, the Rams took advantage of two errors by the usually sure handed Badgers shortstop, Noah Koffman. Later in the inning a bases loaded walk to Rams Chris Aubin, gave Ryerson a 3-2 lead. It was short lived, as Legg would hit a two out run scoring single in the bottom of the seventh.
Cumming would pitch out of a jam in the eighth, showcasing his great fastball striking out two batters to end the inning. But Brock would score in the ninth to win 4-3.
Brock 7 – Ryerson 3
The Brock Badgers took advantage of poor Ryerson defence and wildness by the bullpen to help lead them to a doubleheader sweep in St. Catharines. “At this point in the season, most of the mistakes we saw today are simply not acceptable,” said Rich. “We work on those before the season, the guys have the chance to implement in-season, and then we reinforce again during practice throughout the season.”
Brock scored two runs in the first after two were out. A missed catch, failed rundown and error would put the Rams behind early. Single runs would be added by Brock in the third and another in the fourth on the third error by the Rams defence.
The Rams would mount a rally in the fourth a groundout by RJ Mienkowski and a two out hit by Jason Te. This would end left-hander Andrew Raponi’s afternoon. Brock would bring in left-hander Nick Subramaniam who would shut down the Rams the rest of the game.
In the sixth, Brock would put the game away scoring three runs on only one hit. Four walks, a wild pitch and another error would lock down the win for Brock. Ryerson would end the scoring in the seventh on a triple by Andrew Ciuffreda.
After the game, Rich talked about the two messages the coaching staff expressed to the players after the last regular season game.
“There were two main messages: First, the coaching staff can only take the team so far. At the end of the day, the players play and have to execute if we are going to win close ballgames. The second message was that we have shown we are capable of beating the best teams in the league. But those results won't happen by accident. We have to execute in order to get to where we want to be, and it's time for the players to step up and do so.”
The Ryerson Rams ended the regular season 5-11. They will play next in the OUA Playoff Tournament October 13-15th, at the Pan Am Ballpark in Ajax.