With the Three Days Grace hit song “Riot” blaring over the loud speaker, the Maple Leafs baseball team rushed onto the field on Saturday for their first home game of the season.Originally scheduled to play ball in Kentucky against Berea College, Goshen College was faced with a cancellation due to heavy rain. As the third canceled game in a row, the others being against Concordia University and Asbury College, the Leafs’ head coach Josh Keister was determined his team would see weekend action.
“I probably called every school within a five hour radius of here,” said Keister. “I had actually called Robert Morris to ask the phone number to I.U. Northwest.”
Finding only a dead-end with Indiana University Northwest, it looked as though Goshen College baseball would have to be postponed until next week.
This was the case until Keister got the call.
“Robert Morris called me back at 4 p.m. to say they had been canceled in southern Illinois and were looking for a game,” Keister said. “He was desperate to play because it was going to be a nice day and already had a bus scheduled since they were supposed to be somewhere else.”
Robert Morris College kicked off the double header with two runs to open game one. The Maple Leafs answered back with a two man run to tie the game. But the deadlock did not last long as the Robert Morris Eagles began to pull away by the fifth inning, taking a 7-3 lead.
Refusing to let the Maple Leafs go down without a fight, Tom McDowell, a senior, and Sean Sears, a junior, batted in two runs to close the gap at the bottom of the sixth inning. Robert Morris answered back, adding three points to the scoreboard, but nearly lost their edge with five power hits and four runs by the Maple Leafs in the final inning.
In the end, the Maple Leafs fell one run short of a comeback, ending the game with a 10-9 loss.
Taking charge of the mound in game two was Aaron Coy, a junior, who kept the Eagles at bay, allowing them one run in the first four innings. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Maple Leafs found themselves with a 2-1 lead, no outs and the bases loaded. Three hits later, the Leafs furthered the gap to 6-1 taking them into the fifth inning.
In an attempt to regain control, Robert Morris managed to score one run in the top of the fifth. The Maple Leafs immediately answered back as McDowell leapt over the catcher and slid into home plate, bringing the score to 8-2.
The Eagles began to creep up on the Maple Leafs but ultimately fell short. Zac Miller, a junior, helped stretch the lead for the Leafs by smashing a hit bringing the score to 10-5. The Leafs held their lead with three quick outs in the final inning claiming victory over Robert Morris.
With this win, the Maple Leafs record is now 3-15.
Commenting on Goshen’s offense performance, Coach Keister had only one thing to say. “[It’s] great to see the bats come alive,” Keister said.