Bears Cool Off Firebirds

Nell fires a pitch vs. Longwood (PC: Jackson Loo)

Yesterday afternoon provided a respite from a cold, windy stretch of weather, and the baseball team made the most of the warmer climes in a 5-2 scrimmage victory over visiting Kellenberg. Despite the contest not counting toward the Bears’ overall record, there was excitement around who was on the mound for the Firebirds: Andrew Koshy.

The Wake Forest-bound senior is a formidable presence, standing at 6’1″ with a righty fastball that can touch 93 mph, but the Bears tagged him for 5 hits and 2 runs (1 earned) to take the victory.

The Bears had runners on the base paths in the first two innings, but Koshy was able to wriggle out of early trouble. Aiden Ruiz and Jayden Stroman smacked 1st-inning singles before Charboneau walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the threat. In the 2nd Koshy worked around a leadoff double from Seth Laureano to keep The Brook off the board. The Bears’ starter, Chris Nell, outpitched his counterpart through the first two innings, yielding just one hit while striking out two, but a walk and an error in the top of the 3rd lit up Kellenberg’s side of the scoreboard first.

The Bears came right back in their half of the 3rd when Ruiz and Jordan Serrano singled off of Koshy to put two on with nobody out. On Serrano’s single, Ruiz showed off his speed by hustling to third base, which allowed Serrano to get to second on the throw. Following a strikeout, Ruiz scampered home on a passed ball to knot the score at 1-1. Logan Charboneau followed with a ground ball that got Serrano caught in a rundown between third and home. Charboneau’s heady baserunning saw him motor toward second while Serrano was evading a tag, prompting an errant throw into center field that brought the sophomore all the way around to score on a ball that traveled 90 feet and give the Blue & White a 2-1 edge.

Nell looked strong in the 4th as he bookended a fly out with a pair of strikeouts for a 1-2-3 inning. He dispatched the first two runners in the 5th before yielding a double to center that was just out of the reach of a diving Serrano. An error on the next play scored a run to knot the score at 2-2, but Nell induced a pop up to end the inning and his strong outing.

Ruiz’s third single of the day opened the 5th, giving him seven hits in his last eight at bats. The freshman continued to be a devil on the base paths by stealing second two pitches later and moving to third on a tag-up before scoring on a Stroman single to give The Brook a 3-2 lead. Charboneau followed with a hard single to left. A double steal put both runners into scoring position, which paid dividends three pitches later when Jojo Franco hit a ground ball that allowed Stroman to score just ahead of the catcher’s tag. Laureano followed with a sacrifice fly to center that easily plated Charboneau for a 5-2 advantage.

The bullpen ensured the lead held up as Ramirez worked a scoreless 6th before Serrano tossed a 1-2-3 seventh with a pair of Ks.

The Bears are back on Jeff Adams Field this afternoon in a match-up with Calhoun.


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