Club baseball concludes 2008 season

The Carnegie Mellon club baseball team had a busy week playing three games: one against the Robert Morris University Colonials and a doubleheader against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday. Last Friday, first-year Zach Cohen pitched one of his best games of the season against Pitt and was named Pitcher of the Week by the North Atlantic Conference-South for his performance. He is the first player to earn this honor since the Carnegie Mellon baseball program was established three years ago.

Even with players like Cohen, the Tartans could not find a way to win against Robert Morris on Tuesday. Carnegie Mellon has struggled with its defense all season, and Tuesday’s game was no different; at bat, the team fared well, coming away with nine runs, but the unearned runs by Robert Morris determined the game.

Senior pitcher Tim Sandy started for the Tartans and kept the game close for three innings, but could not hold on in the fourth and fifth.

At the begining of the fourth, the score was 3–1 in favor of the Colonials, but Robert Morris’ lead quickly became more distant after the first four batters all got on base. The errors continued; the Colonials rounded up five runs in the fourth inning and topped it off with three more in the fifth, putting pressure on Carnegie Mellon to avoid the 10-run mercy rule.

The Tartans stepped up to the challenge: junior third-basemen Aaron Hernley lead off with a single and he was then allowed to third base off errors made by the Colonials. First-year outfielder Joe Seymour and Sandy followed with singles, bringing sophomore outfielder James Langhauser up to bat. Determined to get the Tartans back in the game, Langhauser hit a home run to bring the score to 11–5.
Carnegie Mellon scored three more runs in the fifth inning, leaving the team hopeful of a comeback. Both teams scored one run each in the sixth inning, and the seventh looked promising for the Tartans, but the early 11–1 deficit was too much to overcome. Robert Morris capped off the game with one more run, leaving the final score at 13–9.

On Saturday, Carnegie Mellon ended its season with two tough losses to Pitt. Sandy again started for the Tartans and held strong for two innings, but he tired in the third and gave up four runs. Langhauser relieved Sandy in the third inning, but things did not get any better. Langhauser gave up four more runs in the inning before he was relieved by first-year Francisco Santiago.

At the bottom of the fourth inning, the score was 10–0. The first six batters for the Tartans reached base, and senior outfielder Keith Menchin battled in the first run of the game. With a solid start to the inning, Carnegie Mellon made a strong comeback to tie the score at 10. However, after a rain delay, the Tartans could not continue the uphill climb. The Panthers scored two runs in the fifth inning and eight in the sixth, pulling away from the Tartans. The final score was 20–12.

The second game started off in favor of Carnegie Mellon, with the score at 3–1. Junior pitcher Jon Coens started off the game slowly after battling the flu all week. After four innings, the Tartans were right on the heels of the Panthers with the score at 7–6. However, Coens ran out of energy and the Panthers put up four runs. Langhauser relieved the final two innings and gave up three runs, bringing the final score to 14–6.

Saturday’s games concluded Carnegie Mellon’s season. The team finished with a 2–12 overall record.