After losing a two-run lead in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Southern Vermont College, the Emerson men’s baseball team was running out of chances to earn a win. Two walks by the Southern Vermont pitcher and a series of hits by the Lions, however, put the home team back on top in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Zak Levine, who took to the mound in the Lions’ 6-3 victory, said that though Southern Vermont College was able to gain momentum as the game progressed, he wasn’t concerned.
“They put together a couple of hits, but I wasn’t too worried,” said the senior. “Every time they got a hit, I just focused on the next person. I was pounding the strike zone pretty hard, and the team came through.”
Levine scattered three runs and six hits over seven innings.
Hitting would dictate the Lions’ play throughout the day. After outhitting Southern Vermont 8-6 in the opening game, Emerson went hitless in six of seven innings as they fell 2-1 to the Mountaineers in the second matchup of the doubleheader.
Head coach David Hanley said the Lions knew they would need to remain focused and fight just as hard as the afternoon wore on.
“Heading into the second game, I told them not to sit on the win,” he said.
But it was the Mountaineers who took control, as they scored two runs in the top of the second inning in the day’s second contest. And although senior first baseman Peter Maltzan added a run for Emerson at the bottom of the fourth, the two Southern Vermont runs would prove to be all the away team needed for the win.
Senior Ryan Garber said though Emerson played from behind nearly the entire day, trailing in six and a half out of fourteen innings, the team didn’t lose hope.
“We never die,” said the shortstop, who had two hits and scored one run on the day. “We never give up, and we’re always backing each other up. When you’re down by some runs and you’re cheering on your teammates, that’s a team right there.”
The 2-1 defeat was Emerson’s sixth one-run loss of the season, and although Hanley was disappointed with the result, he made note of his team’s efforts to keep in the game.
“We were playing well, but we only had two hits in the second game,” the coach said. “We had two complete games from [Ben] Quick and Levine. We just weren’t hitting.”
Careless mistakes were not what cost Emerson the game, as the team’s only error came in the bottom of the first inning at the start of the day. The Lions have struggled with closing out games, however, which Garber said is something the team is going to focus on in their upcoming matchups.
“We need to start in the first inning instead of having to use our fight in the last innings,” he said. “There’s absolutely nothing else on our minds than wins.”