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Hounds lose three of four on the road

Posted on 03.27.2013

The University of Indianapolis baseball team suffered three consecutive losses, but won the last game over the weekend on March 22-23, against the Maryville University Saints, 9-6,  7-4, 4-3 and 4-3, respectively. The Greyhounds’ record now stands at 10-8 overall, and 2-6 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

During the first game between the two teams on March 23, the Greyhounds had control early, leading the Saints, 3-0, at the conclusion of the first five innings. In the fourth inning, the Hounds scored first when redshirt freshman outfielder Brady Thomas was walked, allowing senior first baseman Jake Hartley to score.

In the next inning, the Hounds tallied up two more runs. The first came from an RBI single sent to center field by Hartley, allowing senior outfielder Ryan Wides to score. The second run came from senior second baseman Scott Lawley.

The Saints, however, did not go away and tied the game up at the bottom of the sixth inning with three runs. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 12th inning, when the Saints scored a run to secure the victory.

Three Greyhounds pitched that game for UIndy, striking 10 players out combined and allowing six hits.

In the second game of the day, the Greyhounds claimed their first victory of the weekend in another close game. The Greyhounds gained an early lead from the start of the top of the first inning, by scoring two runs. The Hounds would score again in the fourth, when senior third baseman Tyler O’Daniel reached home on a wild pitch. Just like they had earlier in the day, however, the Saints responded and scored three runs during the bottom of the sixth. UIndy did not let the game finish like the last one did, however, and scored the last run to win the game, with a single through the left side by Wides that allowed freshman second baseman Anthony Asalon to score.

Junior pitcher Evan Eyer claimed his first win on the mound at UIndy, after relieving freshman pitcher Matthew Kaplanis during the bottom of the sixth inning. Eyer closed the game with no runs or hits allowed and struck out two players.

In their doubleheader the day prior, the Greyhounds dropped both games by three runs.

In their first game, the Greyhounds trailed for most of the innings. UIndy allowed four runs in the first inning, two runs in the second, and three more in the fourth. The Greyhounds responded with six runs of their own in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough to even the score.

Two players pitched for the Greyhounds that game, allowing 13 hits and zero strikeouts.

In the second game, the Greyhounds were closer on the scoreboard early on, being down by just one run at the top of the fourth. The Saints pulled away from that point and scored once at the bottom of the fourth and the fifth to secure the victory.

All seven runs were allowed by senior pitcher Hugo Lalonde, who took the loss.

The Hounds defeated the Urbana University Blue Knights earlier last week on March 19, 13-7.

Playing at home, the Greyhounds dominated for most of the game. In the bottom of the second inning, Wides stole home to give the Greyhounds another run.

UIndy held Urbana to one run until the eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth, the Greyhounds retaliated with four runs, taking the score to 13-3. Urbana managed four more runs in the top of the ninth, but that was not enough to force extra innings.

Head Coach Gary Vaught attributed the win to the team’s athletic abilities and some injured players returning to play.

“Our No. 1 thing is the health of the player, and I’m not going to put a player in the game that’s hurt,” Vaught said. “No matter how bad I want him out there, I’m just not going to do it.”

According to Vaught, a good coach is not determined by how many players he or she gets into the major leagues, but how he or she teaches the players to succeed in life. Because of this, Vaught said, the biggest chewing out that the team got this year was not about its record, but about grades. Vaught said that he reminds the students that they came to UIndy first to get an education and second to play baseball.

Senior second baseman Scott Lawley begins to run towards first base after hitting the ball against Urbana University. The Greyhounds won the game by six runs. Photo by Victoria Jenkins.

“And we’ve got to keep that in the same order and not change it, because a degree is more important than a conference championship,” he said. “And that’s hard for a coach to say, because I base a lot of my success on the W’s and the L’s.”

According to Vaught, having injured players is never good, but it does offer opportunities for new players, such as Asalon. Also, although Urbana’s top two pitchers did not throw, the Greyhounds did not use their top six pitchers either, which allowed non-starting players to gain experience.

“It’s good that we played well with the starters the first three or four innings … Then we got to bring kids in who have been at practice and contributed at practice and are working hard at practice and give them an opportunity,” Vaught said. “I think anytime you can do that, it just brings the team closer together.”

According to senior catcher Nick Whitty, not having key players, such as Wides, was a cause of recent losses against Quincy College.

“That’s kind of been our problem,” Whitty said. “That’s why we lost three against Quincy, [because] we couldn’t get that bunt down. We just couldn’t get that one hit to break it open.”

Whitty said that another issue the team has had is whenever the weather has been warm enough to practice outside, rain has accompanied the higher temperatures, so the team was concerned about damaging the field. This has relegated the team to the ARC, where players can practice throwing but not do very much with defense or hitting.

“We didn’t practice much outside. The weather has kind of been hindering our play a little bit,” Whitty said. “But when the weather gets better, I’m sure that we’ll come together, and we’ll have a little more time outside to practice and play ball.”

Vaught said that although he would prefer to practice outside, he is grateful that UIndy has great athletic facilities.

“Thank goodness for having this dome, because if we didn’t have that, where would we be?” Vaught said. “We’d be over in the one cage off the gym and hitting ground balls off the gym floor.”

Whitty said that marking down another win always excites the players, but they have to take it one game at a time.

“I mean, you take the first one, and then after that, you just keep rolling—take the second one, the third—but it’s all about that first win, I think,” Whitty said. “When you get that first one out of the way, especially in a series, it just comes a lot easier.”

The team returns to action at Greyhound Park this week to face Kentucky State University on March 27 for a doubleheader and Kentucky Wesleyan College on March 29 and 30 for doubleheaders.


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