By Brian Hula
The University of Dallas baseball team lost four home games over the past week. The Crusaders fell 14-9 to the University of Texas at Dallas and were swept by Trinity University 11-1, 10-0 and 5-0. The team has lost 13 straight games, but the players seek to turn things around this coming weekend when they travel to Austin College to play in their final conference series of the year.
In Tuesday’s game against UTD, the Crusaders were held hitless for the first three innings while the Comets jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The visiting squad added two more runs in the top of the fourth. However, the “Navy and White” finally sparked their offense in the bottom of the fourth. After three straight singles which led off the inning, senior Anthony Armstrong doubled down the left field line to drive home two runs. Two more singles directly after Armstrong’s double allowed UD to claim a 5-4 lead going into the fifth inning.
The Comets went on to score five more runs in the top of the seventh and took a commanding 13-6 lead. The Crusaders scored one run in the bottom of the seventh off a single by Armstrong, but the visiting Comets scored yet another run in the top of the eighth to make the score 14-7. Down to the last out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Armstrong hit a two-run homer to cut the visitors’ lead to 14-9. However, the Crusaders could not continue the rally and the Comets claimed a decisive 14-9 victory.
Armstrong contributed a stellar performance in the loss with a home run, a double, and a total of 5 RBIs. Senior Jake Pierce also recorded two RBIs. The Crusaders had a total of 11 hits on the day, but they also gave up 16 hits to the Comets.
The Crusaders played a double-header on Saturday against Trinity University, which came into the weekend ranked 22nd nationally in Division III baseball. In the first game, the Tigers raced out to claim the lead, scoring a run in the first and sixth runs in the second inning to take control of the game early on. The Tigers added to their 7-0 lead by notching one run each in the third and fifth innings. UD scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore JP Fasone laid down a bunt and safely reached first base. On that play, an error by the Tigers’ first baseman allowed Pierce, who had been walked earlier in the inning, to score. The visiting squad added two more runs in the seventh inning to claim an 11-1 victory.
In the second game, the Crusaders gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the fourth to allow the Tigers of Trinity University to claim a 4-0 lead. The “Navy and White” were unable to muster any offense throughout the contest, claiming only one hit: a single by senior Trevor Keele in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Tigers capped a dominating performance by winning the second game by a score of 10-0.
The final game of the series on Sunday started off as a low-scoring affair. The Crusaders challenged the Tigers in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Alex Stack singled and reached second on a wild pitch, but the Tigers’ pitcher would strike out the next three Crusader batters to end the threat. The visiting squad landed a decisive blow in the top of the fifth inning when the Tigers’ Jeremy Wolf hit a grand slam with no outs to give his team a 5-0 advantage.
UD freshman Abraham Griesbauer then entered the game and pitched effectively over three innings, holding the Tigers scoreless and allowing only two hits. However, the Crusaders never mustered a response on offense. The Crusaders did not reach base in the contest’s final inning and dropped the third game of the series by a score of 5-0.
Senior Nolan Kipp said that “the inability to avoid the big inning on the mound and [the] lack of offensive support” were the things that hurt the Crusaders the most in the series against TU.
“[We] just got outplayed on both sides of the ball,” he said.