Tiger Baseball visited Kirkwood Community College on Wednesday, March 27 for a double-header. The Tigers came up short in both games, but in very different fashions.
Game one saw a strong outing by starting pitcher, Walter Hernandez get wasted. The sophomore hurler only went three innings on his normal bullpen day, but gave up no hits and no runs while striking out two.
It was a different story when a second normal starting pitcher, Jacob Medcalf took the bump. Medcalf struggled his way through the fourth inning as he surrendered hits to his first three batters faced. Eventually all three would score before Medcalf got out of the inning.
Medcalf returned to the mound to start the fifth inning, but was replaced by David Davila before he could record an out. Again the first three hitters reached base and would eventually score.
Davilla didn't fare any better. His first batter faced, Zion Pettigrew, doubled to deep center field. However, the sophomore retired the next three batters. It wasn't until the sixth inning that the Eagles got to Davilla. Three straight Kirkwood hitters singled after a leadoff 6-3 putout before Davilla induced a fly out to right field for the second out. Then with two on and two out, Pettigrew again dealt damage to Davilla and the Tigers with a three-run homerun. Davilla walked the next batter and was replaced by Michael Ver Lee.
Ver Lee plunked the first batter he faced, gave up a line drive double to his second batter, and the game ended on an error in center field.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were unable to produce any big score innings. Reece Blay scored in the third when Tom Josten drove him in with a single after Blay and also singled and moved to second when Travon Hughes was hit by a pitch. Blay again scored in the fifth along with Jeffry Roldan. The Tigers showed some promise for a big inning in the fifth before sophomore DH, Eli Berggeron grounded into a double play to end the threat.
From there the Tigers went scoreless and the Eagles won 13-3.
In game two, it was the starting pitching that struggled for the Tigers. Diego Almonte got the nod for the Tigers and while facing just fourteen batters, gave up seven runs. The Tiger defense didn't help matters as only four of the runs were earned.
PJ Maldonado, Jacob Everaert, and Jimmy Kuka appeared in relief for the Tigers. The three combined to surrender four runs, all earned.
Eventually the Tigers put together three solid innings at the plate as they scored a run in the third, four in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh as they hit the Eagle relievers well and took advantage of some control issues out of the bullpen.
Coach Anthony Everman made some lineup changes that proved fruitful for the Tigers as both Colston Dukes and Luis Menendez homered off the bench for the Tigers. Ryan Carter and Menendez each had nice games at the plate as they went 2-3 and combined to score three runs and drive in three as well.
Down 7-11 heading into the top of the seventh the Tigers tried to rally to extend the game, but came up just short as Berggeron went down looking to end the half inning with Candido Encarnacion at first.
The Tigers will look to get back into the win column this weekend.