The Goshen baseball team traveled to Bluffton, Ohio last Sunday to take on the Beavers of Bluffton College. Playing in a double header, the Maple Leafs looked to end their six game losing streak with at least one win that night. Unfortunately, it was Bluffton who came away with a pair of victories, winning 2-0 and 3-2.In game 1, sophomore Michael Walker pitcher went the distance, pitching all 6 innings and striking out 6 Bluffton hitters, while only surrendering 2 runs on 7 hits. Bluffton scored the game’s only runs with a 2 RBI single in the third by Tyler Spalding. Goshen collected 9 hits off Bluffton’s Brad Schlabach and Taylor Gambrell, but was unable to manufacture any runs, while leaving 7 runners on base. Freshman Cody McCoy had a team high 3 hits, with sophomores Preston Carr and Vincent Caschera each adding 2.
In the second game, Bluffton jumped out to an early lead, scoring 3 times in the first two innings off Goshen’s Zach Thompson. Thompson quickly regrouped and dominated Bluffton the rest of the way, giving up only 2 earned runs on 6 hits, while striking out 11 in 6 innings of work. Goshen responded by scoring a run in both the 3rd and 4th inning, to cut the Beavers lead down to 1. The Maple Leafs got on the board for the first time of the night when McCoy hit a sacrifice fly to right field, which brought home sophomore Eli Grimes to score. An inning later, Grimes reached on an error, allowing sophomore Urbano Hernandez to come around and score. The Maple Leafs came close, but were unable to manufacture another run, as Bluffton’s Garrett Siefer and Austin Every pitched the final 4 innings and only allowed 2 hits between them. Goshen again left 7 runners stranded on base.
Despite the disappointing results, head coach Alex Childers saw a lot to build on. “Obviously it didn’t go as well as we would have liked results wise, but there were some big time positives out of it. We got two great pitching performances. We actually hit the ball pretty well; we just weren’t able to string hits together. Stats wise if we look at it from that angle, we out hit them, our pitchers had 10 more strikeouts then their pitchers, our pitchers walked less guys. We had less errors than they did, yet we still came out on the losing side of both games. But there were some big positives.”
With the losses, Goshen’s record stands at 2-10 on the season, with the Maple Leafs now riding an 8 game losing streak. However, Childers isn’t worried. “We’ve had great pitching from guys like Michael Walker, Blake Collins. We’re going to win some ball games, but it’s a matter of basically getting the big hit. Finding a way to get the big hit with runners in scoring position. That’s one thing we need to get better at and we’re going to get better at.”
Goshen travels to Winona Lake, Indiana, on Thursday to play a double header against Grace College, who they will then host two days later for their first home games of the season. The starting time for the first game on Saturday is 1:00. Go Leafs!