Baseball falls to West Virginia 5–4

The Carnegie Mellon club baseball team traveled to West Virginia University on Saturday to challenge the Mountaineers to a doubleheader, but fell short in both games. The Tartans were coming off a 9–6 loss against Kent State on Thursday and were hoping to redeem themselves this weekend. In Thursday’s game, the Tartans started out strong with a 3–0 lead after three innings, but could not sustain their performance.

The Tartan’s goal for Saturday’s doubleheader was consistency. The team knew Saturday’s games would be a challenge with several players out due to injuries, including senior first baseman Ryan Comes, who was unable to travel due to a dislocated shoulder. While both teams played well at the plate, the Tartans struggled on the defensive end of both games.

“We are missing two of our starters in senior Ryan Comes who had a shoulder separation and will be out for the rest of the year. Ryan is one of our best and most consistent hitters, as is Jim Stedman who has shoulder problems as well. With those two out, other players such as Keith Menchin, Adam Young and Yoshi Kim will have to turn it up,” head coach Claudio Reilsono said.

The first inning of game one set the tone for the rest of the day, and it was not looking good for Carnegie Mellon. Following several defensive mistakes by the Tartans, the Mountaineers claimed seven unearned runs in the first inning. Senior Tim Sandy, the starting pitcher for Carnegie Mellon, was able to regain his composure after the first inning and threw well for the next three, but this was not enough for the Tartans to get back in the game. The Mountaineers earned three more runs off Sandy as well as a final run against relief pitcher junior Jim Spagnola.

The Tartans fared better in game two, with first-year Zach Cohen making the start and pitching the entire game. The game was evenly matched, with the score difference never exceeding one run, but in the end the Mountaineers edged out Carnegie Mellon 5–4.

The Tartans cleaned up their act defensively, with junior third baseman Aaron Hernley leading the team with two double plays in consecutive innings. After a regulation of seven innings, the Tartans and Mountaineers were tied at four. The game went into extra innings, and the Mountaineers rounded home plate with two outs to win the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. The teams were scheduled to continue the series with a third game on Sunday, but the game was postponed due to weather.

“Our entire team is going to have to turn it up for us to finish the season on a high note. We have good people on the team that work and try hard. I am confident that we will finish strong,” Reilsono said.

Even with all the distractions of Carnival, the Tartans plan to focus this week to redeem themselves against close rival University of Pittsburgh. The team next competes Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday with a doubleheader starting at noon. The games will be played at Bellevue Memorial Park.