Stars Split With Fighting Muskies

Fri Mar 8, 2019
The Dominican University baseball team split a twin bill with the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies on Friday, dropping game one 5-4 before taking game two, 10-5.  The split pushes the Stars to 5-5 on the season and 3-4 on the team's spring trip to Fort Pierce, Florida, with the final game of the trip scheduled for Saturday, a 10:00 a.m. matchup with the Maritime College Privateers.
"In game one we could not have started any more flat than we did," said Steve Hardman, the Stars' head baseball coach. "We dug ourselves a hole with our defense and squandered a good start by Hayden Young. We made a push at the end, but our gloves really cost us. In game two we came out right out of the gate and put a three-spot on the board in the first inning. We kept the pressure on them all game and came out with a split on the day. This team shows glimpses of being a good, young team, but we need to be more consistent to take the next step."
Game One: Muskingum 5, Dominican 4
The Stars fell behind by three runs on two different occasions before plating three runs in the top of the seventh to keep the game going.  In the bottom of the seventh, the Fighting Muskies walked off when Michael Pagano lifted a fly ball to left with the bases loaded and one away that was just deep enough to score Matt Stewart who singled to start the inning.
The Stars had trailed 4-1 heading into the top of the seventh before rallying to push across three runs.  Johnny Condron sparked the rally with a bunt single before Mike Buckley ripped a one-hopper to third that could not be handled by Adam Budzinski.  Kevin Evans was hit by pitch to load the bases before Ryan Simak pulled the Stars within two with a sac fly.  One out later, Frankie Sessa knotted the game at 4-4 with a single through the box, scoring both Buckley and Evans.
The Muskies had led 3-0 after two innings, scoring an unearned run in the first before Budzinski led off the bottom of the second with a homer to left-center.  Muskingum then capitalized on another Dominican error later in the second.
The Stars got one run back when Thomas Ross plated Evans with a sac fly in the top of the third.  Muskingum got that run back in the bottom of the fifth when Pagano knocked in a run with two-out, RBI single.
Young took the loss for the Stars on the mound, despite tossing a complete-game.  Young was charged with all five runs, three earned, on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts, falling to 1-2 on the season.
At the plate, the Stars managed seven hits, two apiece for Condron and Evans.
Game Two:  Dominican 10, Muskingum 5
After freshman Bryant Bagshaw pitched around a leadoff single and a walk in the top of the first, the Dominican bats got to work, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning.  Simak led off with a single to right before Ross worked a walk, putting runners at first and second for Sessa.  Sessa promptly doubled off the base of the wall in left, scoring Simak.  After Seth Hoffman grounded out to third allowing Ross to score, Sessa came across when Brandon Diedrich singled to right.
The Fighting Muskies got one run back off Bagshaw in the top of the second when Ibarra doubled to left to start the frame and came across on Pagano's RBI single.  Bagshaw started a 1-6-3 double play to help himself out of the jam and limit the damage.
The Stars got that run back in the bottom of the second.  Simak lined a one-out single to right before Ross walked and then a Muskingum error loaded the bases for Hoffman who rolled an RBI single through the left side to plate Simak.  Diedrich followed with a sac fly to push across Ross, extending the Stars' lead to 5-1 after two.
In the top of the third, the Fighting Muskies cut into the Dominican lead, scoring a pair of runs as they strung together four singles to start the inning.
The Dominican bats got those two back in the bottom of the third.  Condron led off the inning with a walk before Buckley singled to put runners at first and second.  Evans laid down a bunt, reaching first when an errant throw allowed Condron to come across.  Simak then logged his second RBI of the day, grounding to second and allowing Buckley to score.
The Stars tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth when Evans came through with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded.  Then in the bottom of the fifth, it was a grounder to third off the bat of Hoffman that allowed Ross to score for the third time in the ballgame, extending the Stars' lead to 10-3 after five innings.
Bagshaw hung zeros in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, allowing just one base runner through the middle innings before turning the game over to Brett Carroll for the seventh.  The Muskies were able to push across two in the top of the seventh before Tyler Kara slammed the door, getting Pagano to ground out to first with the bases loaded. 
In picking up his second win of the season, 2-0, Bagshaw allowed just three runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three.
At the plate, the Stars tallied 12 hits, two apiece for Simak, Sessa, Hoffman, Diedrich and Evans.  Hoffman finished the game with three RBIs while Diedrich and Evans drove in two runs apiece.  Sessa finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and one RBI.