Persistence Pays

Photo credit: Lauren Stoner
Photo credit: Lauren Stoner

THE LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- After taking seven straight losses to North Central, the Sabercats' persistence has finally paid off.

In the final game of the weekend series, the Sabercats posted a 5-1 win over North Central thanks to some in-rhythm pitching from Kyle Cummins and a well-rounded offensive display.

THE OVERVIEW

  • Results: MBU 1-11 NCU, MBU 5-1 NCU 
  • Venue: Washington Park
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Records: MBU (1-7), NCU (7-8)

THE STORY

With the way the Rams opened the first game, it looked like they were going to completely dominate the last two games of the series.

NCU posted a couple of runs in the top of the first before punishing the Sabercats for two errors in the third, driving in five runs off just two hits. The damage was mostly done at that point, but the Rams added four more runs through the final four innings. 

The Sabercats registered just one run in the first game, and it came in the bottom of the third after back-to-back singles from Nate Croswell and Ryan Hempel. After a sacrifice bunt from Clint MatheisAlex Causey plated Croswell with a grounder to third.

But that run was all that the Sabercats could muster. North Central took an 11-1 win in the opener. It was a game to forget for the Sabercats, as they were charged with six errors while allowing the Rams to card 14 hits.

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But then the Sabercats turned things around defensively, and Cummins led the way.

The first-year man pitched 6.1 innings and allowed just one run off three hits. Behind him, the Sabercats were sharper defensively, posting a perfect fielding percentage as a team.

Shane Paruch kick-started the offense, as he drove in Matheis and Causey in the bottom of the first inning, putting the Sabercats ahead 2-1. The game remained a pitchers' duel until the bottom of the fourth inning when Croswell, Hempel, and Cummins all drove in runs in a three-run at-bat.

Cummins kept the Rams guessing until the top of the seventh inning when Matheis closed it out by retiring the final two Rams. Thanks to the noteworthy defensive display led by the pitching staff, the Sabercats had finally secured their first win of the season.

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MBU Batting Order (Game 1) - Hempel (SS), Matheis (LF), Causey (C), Bailey (P), Smith (RF), Paruch (3B), Cummins (1B), Hecker (CF), Croswell (2B)

MBU Batting Order (Game 2) - Hempel (3B), Matheis (LF), Causey (SS), Bailey (C), Paruch (1B), Smith (RF), Croswell (2B), Cummins (P), Hecker (CF)

THE OPPONENTS

  • The Rams are members of the NCCAA and the NCAA DIII
  • NCU competes in the UMAC and has yet to begin conference play
  • North Central began their games March 4 with a five-game week at the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational

THE OUTLOOK

The Sabercats will travel to Deerfield, Illinois to take on Trinity International on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.

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