By: John Bauer
Halfway into coach Adam Strongman’s second year at the helm of the McMaster Men’s Baseball team, it appears that his team is still at least a year away from contending with the OUA’s best.
The good news for the team is that junior outfielders Michael Campagnolo and Michael Westlake have been the offensive leaders for the team through 10 games, with major contributions from freshman Andy Falcon-Gonzalez and senior Travis Flint.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore pitcher Kenny Noguchi has put in two decent starts and freshman Carson Braun has had three solid relief appearances. Unfortunately for a group focusing on the future, the team’s two aces, Chris Novachis and Tomas Rincon, are in their senior year. Both have been very good, each with earned run averages below 3.5, but the Marauders will need to develop some young pitching to take the next step in the coming seasons.
The campaign began with a pair of close losses to the Queen’s Golden Gaels. The first game was a 7-4 decision. The second game of the doubleheader was a 3-2 heartbreaker, with Campagnolo driving in a run with a double and scoring himself in the first, only to see Queen’s tie the game in the 3rd on account of a balk by Novachis and win in the 7th on an error.
The next week brought the Guelph Gryphons to town. The Marauders dropped the first game of the set 12-2, and then erased an eight-run deficit in the second game before coming up just short in a 15-11 decision. The game was a sloppy affair and errors abounded, with McMaster actually scoring seven earned runs to Guelph’s six. Jake Chiaravalle homered in the loss, with Campagnolo, Keith Woodcock, Philip Hache, and Brett Herlehy each contributing a double.
The team suffered its most frustrating loss at the hands of the York Lions. Pitcher Kyle Angelow went the distance for the team, but watched a three-run lead evaporate in the 7th when an error scored two runs and then passed balls thrown to consecutive batters scored two more in a 7-5 defeat. The Marauders hammered the Lions 11-1 in the late game however, buoyed by Falcon-Gonzalez’s five-RBI afternoon. Third baseman Aaron Giroux drove in three runs of his own, and Rincon held the Lions to a paltry four hits.
A trip to Waterloo the next weekend to face the Warriors dropped the Maroon and Grey’s record to 1-7 after 8-5 and 14-5 defeats.
The Marauders then split a home doubleheader with the Toronto Varsity Blues, taking the first game 12-11 and dropping the second 12-6.
Next up for McMaster is a home set against the 4-4-1 Western Mustangs on Oct. 3, before a quick trip down the QEW to face the second-place Brock Badgers.