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Brockport baseball sweeps wins to start season

By Chris Sutton
On February 26, 2013

  • Senior catcher Nick Bunce had two doubles and scored two runs against No. 7 Kean (7-5). File photo, spring 2012

The Brockport baseball team kicked off the 2013 season in dramatic fashion with a pair of wins Sunday, Feb. 24, one of which was over a nationally ranked opponent. 

After having both games postponed from Saturday, Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, Brockport defeated No. 7 Kean 7-5 and later Baruch College 4-2 at Kean University in Union, N.J. Brockport's initial opponent for Feb. 24 was Mount Saint Mary, but that game was also postponed. A date has not yet been set for a make-up.  

Junior closer Justin McCarthy, who finished last season with nine saves and entered the game as a preseason All-American, picked up where his 2012 season left off and earned a save for the Eagles.

Had it not been for the ninth inning, however, Brockport would have lost the game and McCarthy would not have been able to pitch in the game at all. After trailing 5-2 entering the ninth inning, the Eagles rallied to take a 7-5 lead with five runs in the top of the ninth inning, allowing them to secure a win. 

"Nick Bunce had a huge two RBI (runs batted in) double to put us ahead 6-5," McCarthy said. "Rob Stankiewicz pitched a scoreless 2.1 innings in relief." 

Bunce doubled twice and scored two runs. Wilson added a run scored while going 2-for-4.

"To have a big inning like we did against Kean showed a lot about our team's character," Head Coach Justin Beach said.

McCarthy came in and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth and struck out the last batter for the save.

"It felt great for me to get back on the mound after about an eight-month layoff," McCarthy said.

The success for the Eagles continued in their second game against Baruch College, which they defeated 4-2, allowing Brockport to start its season with a 2-0 record.

Senior James Bardenett started against Baruch, lasting five innings and striking out eight batters on the day. Bardenett earned the win, his first on the season, while surrendering one run to Baruch. 

Junior outfielder Pete Wilson led the offense with two RBIs. Wilson tripled in the third inning, scoring Dan Hurlimann and Bunce. Wilson's triple was one of his two hits against Baruch. Bunce also had two hits and Hurlimann went 3-for-4 at the plate.

Wilson and Bunce both finished the day with four hits, while having two multiple-hit games. 

After McCarthy was used in the first game, the decision was made to use senior Jake Coleman to close out the game. Coleman pitched a scoreless inning, securing the 4-2 win for the Eagles and earning his first save of the very young season.

"It was a really cold day," Beach said. "Although [McCarthy] only threw about fifteen pitches, he already had to warm up for the first game. It was just too cold of a day to try to get him warmed up again."

The temperature Feb. 24 had a  low of 33 degrees in Union. 

Beach also said Coleman is normally a position player, but he's done a good job for Brockport when he's chosen to pitch and entered last season as a pre-season All American.

"The team feels great after taking two wins from two very good teams," McCarthy said. "Starting the year off beating the No. 7 team in the nation is huge for us and the program in general. [I] couldn't have asked for a better way to start the season." 

The Eagles will look to push their record to 3-0 when they travel to the University of Rochester Saturday, March 2. The game starts at 1 p.m.

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