Offense Keeps Rolling as Baseball Sweeps PSU-Brandywine 13-3 and 15-9
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Led by sophomore rightfielder Tim Kwilos' grand slam and sophomore leftfielder Rory McTear's five-hit, four-RBI, four stolen base day, the Swarthmore College baseball team (9-4) swept a doubleheader against the PSU-Brandywine Lions by scores of 13-3 and 15-9 on Saturday afternoon at Clothier Field.
Junior catcher/infielder Mike Waterhouse and junior first baseman Mike Cameron also had exceptional days at the plate. Waterhouse collected five hits and five RBIs over the doubleheader; Cameron picked up four hits, including a three-run home run.
Swarthmore has now scored at least 10 runs in seven of its 13 games this season.
Game 1 was a veritable walk in the park, as Swarthmore took a 5-0 lead in the first inning, courtesy of RBIs by Waterhouse, senior shortstop Thomas Nakamura, and McTear. By the third, the lead was 10-1, and, behind junior Ignacio Rodriguez' 5.2-inning, 3-run, 7-strikeout start, the Garnet rolled to the 13-3 victory.
Game 2, however, featured even more offense and quite a bit more drama. Early on, it seemed as though the Garnet would win once again in a cakewalk, as the team picked up a run in the first, a run in the second, and seemingly broke the game open with six in the third. The scoring barrage in the third began with a pair of singles by Cameron and freshman designated hitter Niko Burnett, a walk to junior third baseman Spencer Ross, and the first home run of Kwilos' career, a grand slam which extended the lead to 6-1. A sac bunt by McTear and a double from Waterhouse would drive in two more runs in the inning.
By the fifth, the Garnet were up 9-2, but Swarthmore starter Kyle Crawford appeared to tire after a capable four-inning performance. He did not record an out in the fifth, and, by the time junior relief pitcher Adam Hardy recorded the final out of the inning, the lead had been whittled to 9-6.
Sophomore Sean Mangus relieved Hardy in the sixth, only to see the defense implode behind him, committing three consecutive errors. After allowing a single, Mangus fumbled a bunt to put runners on first and second. The next batter attempted a sacrifice bunt, but was awarded more than that as Cameron botched the play at first base, loading the bases with no outs. Mangus proceeded to induce a would-be double play ground ball, but the normally sure-handed Ross threw errantly to second base, and a run scored without an out being recorded.
Another double play ball was finally converted, but not before the second run of the inning scored. A single by Brandywine's Matt Hendrixson completed the comeback, tying the game at 9.
However, much like in yesterday's game against Immaculata, the Garnet offense appeared to use the blown lead as a motivator, wasting no time as they struck back in the bottom of the inning. After a pair of walks to Ross and Kwilos, senior centerfielder Ben Schniederman ripped what would be the game-winning double to center, scoring Ross and giving Swarthmore a 10-9 lead. Once the offense began rolling, however, one run was not enough; Nakamura sacrificed Kwilos home, and McTear singled to bring Schneiderman to the plate. Junior second baseman Anthony Montalbano walked, and Waterhouse scored them both with a double, later touching the plate on an error by the Brandywine third baseman. By the time Cameron struck out to end the inning, the Garnet had put six runs on the board to retake a commanding lead.
A 1-2-3 seventh from freshman reliever Grant Johnson, highlighted by Schneiderman's diving catch in center field, wrapped up the game and sent Swarthmore into the coming week on a three-game winning streak.
The Garnet will try to make it four in a row when 320 rival Widener comes to visit on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3:30 pm.