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Baseball team swept in three-game weekend series

Bruno played sloppy defense and failed to capitalize on a heavy-hitting weekend

The baseball team lost all of the games in its three-game weekend series by significant margins to Auburn University in the middle of a difficult stretch of road games.

Early into Friday’s matchup, the Tigers (12-3) took control of the game with three runs scored in the first two innings. But Bruno (1-6) fought back with a run in the third inning, as Daniel Massey ’14 hit a solo home run to shorten the lead to two. In the sixth inning, the squad continued cutting into the deficit, as they scored two runs via RBI hits from Wes Van Boom ’14 and Nick Fornaca ’15.

The team carried this momentum into the seventh, as it took its first and only lead of the three-game series 4-3 as Van Boom plated J.J. Franco ’14 with an RBI single. But Auburn quickly retaliated, scoring six runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a commanding lead.

“Defense was the difference this weekend — we need to work on not allowing any unearned runs,” said Head Coach Marek Drabinski. “Out of the six runs scored by Auburn that inning, only one run was earned.”

No runs were scored in the final two innings of the game, and Auburn won with a final score of 9-4. Bruno had a strong performance at the plate in Friday’s game, accumulating a total of 12 hits, three more than Auburn. On the other hand, the Bears failed to drive in runs, as they left a total of nine men on base over the course of the game.

In Saturday’s game, the Tigers struck an early lead, scoring three runs in the third inning. After this three-run spur, Auburn was in control for the rest of the game, mostly due to a superb pitching performance by the Tigers’ Michael O’Neal.

In his fourth win of the season, O’Neal pitched a complete game shutout, only allowing six hits on the day. O’Neal’s only tight situation in the game came in the fifth inning, as the Bears had players on second and third base with two outs. The squad left both runners on base, ending the inning with a line drive out. Auburn scored three more after the third inning, finishing the game with a 6-0 win over Bruno.

Sunday’s game, the final game of the series, featured another early lead by the Tigers, as they tacked on two hits and two runs in the second inning. Auburn extended its lead in the fifth inning, adding on two more runs off three hits. The Bears scored their first run of the game in the seventh inning with an RBI single from Massey, cutting the Tiger’s lead to 4-1.

But Auburn quickly responded with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the final frame, Brown started off with the bases loaded and no outs. Bruno scored two more runs before a ground out and strikeout led to the final two outs of the game — the game finished as a 6-3 win for the Tigers.

The Bears faced similar struggles in Sunday’s game as they did in Friday’s, leaving a total of eight runners stranded. Bruno got a total of 10 hits in the game, while the Tigers only got six. But the Tigers were able to capitalize on these hits, consequently winning the game.

“This week we have to focus on defense and continue to work on our offense,” Drabinski said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

The Bears will travel to Washington State University and Gonzaga University the weekend of March 23, playing a total of six games in the span of four days. This is the final weekend of play before the team faces off against Cornell, its first Ivy League opponent of the season.

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