Baseball Opens Spring Trip With Doubleheader Split

Baseball Opens Spring Trip With Doubleheader Split

AUBURNDALE, Fla. --- The Thomas College baseball team kicked off its southern swing by splitting a twin bill with Loras College on Wednesday at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex.

The Terriers (2-4) scored 11 runs in the fourth inning of game one en route to a 15-9 victory but could only manage five hits off Duhawk starter Patrick Walsh in a 6-0 loss in the night cap.

Game 1 -- Thomas 15, Loras 9
Thomas grabbed a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as the first four Terriers reached base. Freshman Zach Mathieu (Oakland, Maine / Messalonskee) drew a bases-loaded walk for the first run of the game. Sophomore Michael De Los Santos (Robstown, Texas / Robstown) followed with an RBI groundout that scored senior Derek Kane (Natick, Mass. / Natick), while fellow senior Nik Beeson (Manchester, N.H. / Trinity) scored on an Aron Smestad (so., Corinna, Maine / Nokomis Regional) RBI single.

Loras exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Duhawks sent 13 batters to the plate in the frame, capped by a Luke Leibforth two-RBI single to left that scored Lucas Jacque and Ryan Koester.

The Terriers responded with a big inning of their own, scoring 11 runs on nine hits and one Duhawk error. Kane opened the floodgates with an RBI fielder's choice that scored a pair, then had a two-RBI double to center later in the frame. Beeson also a pair of RBI singles and De Los Santos and senior Anree Benitez (Orlando, Fla. / University) each drove in a pair.

A Patrick Walsh RBI single in the fifth cut the Thomas advantage to 14-9, but the Terriers responded with a run of their own in the sixth as Benitez scored on an RBI triple by Beeson.
Beeson finished 5-for-5 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Benitez was 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI and four runs scored.

Jacque had three hits to lead the Duhawks. 

On the mound, sophomore Payton Kennison (Livermore, Maine / Cony) got the start but was unable to make it through the second inning, surrendering eight runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. His replacement, sophomore Brandon Hubbard (New Gloucester, Maine / Gray-New Gloucester), got the win after throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

Nick Spiess took the loss for Loras, allowing nine runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Game 2 -- Loras 6, Thomas 0
The Terriers were unable to carry the momentum gained on offense during the opener into game two. Loras pitcher Patrick Walsh shut the Thomas lineup down, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out six in a complete-game shutout effort.

The Duhawks nearly grabbed the lead in the top of the second inning as Lucas Jacque attempted to score from second on a single to center field by Austin Konagel but was thrown out at home by Anree Benitez.

Jacque finally gave Loras the lead two innings later, scoring along with Ryan Koester when Thomas Johnson reached on a throwing error by second baseman Aron Smestad.

The Duhawks added a run in the fifth when Danny Paluch scored on a Walsh sacrifice fly, then added three more in the sixth to extend the lead to 6-0.

Thomas starter Taylor Bacon (jr., Skowhegan, Maine / Skowhegan) struggled to open the frame, hitting a pair of batters and leaving the bases loaded before being lifted in favor of freshman Jon Phelps (Southwest Harbor, Maine / Mount Desert Island).

Phelps was able to get out of the inning, but not before seeing a trio of runs cross the plate as Koester scored on a Konagel groundout, Johnson scored from third after an errant pickoff attempt by Terrier catcher Dominic Esposito (jr., Portland, Maine / Deering) ended up in left field and Luke Leibforth scored on a wild pitch.

The Duhawks needed only six hits to get the win, including two each by Jacque and Nolan Ritter.

Bacon took the loss, allowing six runs -- just two earned -- on five hits while striking out five in five-plus innings of work.

Zach Mathieu had two of Thomas' five hits, while Benitez, Derek Kane and pinch hitter Alex Curtis had one apiece.

The Terriers return to the diamonds at Lake Myrtle at 11 a.m. Thursday to face Grove City College (Pa.).