No. 5 Baseball starts off season with 3-1 record

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Avery Mariotti

Baseball started off their season going 3-1 over their first week of play including a no-hitter in their home opener.

The Mocs first game was on Feb. 1 against West Florida. The score of the game was 9-5.

At the start of the game the Mocs where leading till the fifth inning. It was in the sixth inning where West Florida put six runs on the board and took the lead for good.

Three Mocs, Pablo Cabrea, Zach Diewert, and Isaiah Cullum had extra base hits that loss.  Diewert instantly made his presence felt when he hit the first home run for the Mocs at West Florida.

Day two of the series resulted in the Mocs first win of the season, with a score of 4-2.

The Mocs started off with an early lead in the first inning by getting two home runs right at the start. Junior pitcher Matt Martin pitched six innings of one run balls in his first start of this season.

The final day of the series was another Moc win with a score of 6-5.

At the start of the game, the Mocs were leading 3-0 till the bottom of the second when West Florida took the lead. The team overcame a 5-3 deficit to end up victorious against West Florida.

On Feb. 5th, the Mocs played Eckard College in their home opener at Henley Field. The game was a historic game for the Mocs, with the first no-hitter since J.C. Barnett in 2001.

“We just wanted to attack the hitters based on our pitcher’s strength; you can’t always go off of what the scouting report says,” pitching coach Nate Striz said. “You have to go off what your pitcher’s strengths are.”

The no hit bid was saved in the eigth inning by Zach Diewert as he made a diving catch to record the second out of the top of the eigth. The three pitchers Carson King, Chase Pilato and Leo Rodriguez combined for the no-hitter.

King and Pilato both threw four shutout innings while Rodriguez recorded his third save of the season after a perfect ninth inning.

The 3-0 victory was the third consecutive win for the Mocs.

“We have to have an expectation that we are going to win but we have to go out there just as hard as last year,” head coach Lance Niekro said. “We have a target on our back from winning the South Region last year.”

As a team the Mocs are hitting .289 and are looking to heat up from an offensive standpoint.

The Mocs next play is against USC Akin in a three game series covering Feb 15th -17th. There next home game will be on Feb. 21 against Merrimack. This will be Merrimack’s first game for the 2019 season.

 

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