Baseball’s Blood breaks 0-6 start

[caption id="attachment_3863228" align="alignright" width="280" caption="The Hartford baseball team went under new advisement at the end of last year with the addition of new Head Coach Justin Blood. Adam Manison | The Informer"][/caption] Prior to yesterday the University of Hartford men’s baseball team, along with first year head coach Justin Blood were still searching for their first win of the season. The Hawks snapped a season long six game losing streak, by defeating rival Central Connecticut State by a final score of 5-2. Sophomore pitcher Ryan Lukach scattered four hits over five innings of work, and four Hawks had multi-hit games including a 2-4, two RBI performance from Chris Suchy, the pair of RBI’s came via a two run home run. Hartford opened the scoring in the second inning, plating three runs, which ultimately proved to be enough to earn the win. The Hawks prior matchup came in a three game set against the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington where they were swept. They played a double header on Sat. March 3 due to rain on Friday and the finale was played on the fourth. In the first game Hartford lost to the Keydets 6-4. In the game James Alfonso, Andy Drexel and Chris Surchy all finished with two hits for Hartford, with Alfonso, Prat Knauth and Brady Sheetz each driving in one run. After three scoreless innings to open the game, the Hawks would put the first runs on the board with a three run fourth inning. Alfonso, Drexel and Lukach opened the stanza with three straight singles before Sheetz reached on a fielder’s choice and Suchy doubled to right field. The Hawks final run of the game came off the bat of Alfonso as he sent his first long ball of the season high over the left field wall. VMI would chip away at the lead with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth before taking the lead with a three run seventh inning, which included a home run from Jacob Morley. In the second game the Hawks lost by one fewer run 6-5. Hartford had homeruns from Andy Drexel, and Ryan Lukach. The Hawks added two more runs, one in the fifth and one in the sixth, but the Keydets would again battle from behind for the victory scoring three in the third, two in the fifth and the game winning run coming in the bottom of the seventh. Gary LeClair provided the Keydets go ahead run as he drove in Cody Holder, who scored from second, on a single through the right side. In terms of pitching for the series Mike Thatcher started the series opener on Saturday, working 5.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on nine total hits. Hunter Englert would suffer the loss, his first of the season, after allowing three earned runs on four hits in one inning of work. Freddy Andujar also saw time on the hill for the Hawks, pitching 1.2 innings, allowing no run on one hit. Andujar led the pitching trio with four strike outs. Alex Gouin started for Hartford in the night cap, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing five runs, four earned, on seven total hits. Rookie Austin Barnes suffered the defeat, the first of his young career. Barnes worked the final 3.1 innings allowing just one run on three hits while also striking out four Keydets. The next series for the Hawks will be a tough test. They will be playing Big 12 superpower Kansas State in Manhattan Kansas for a three game series starting on Friday.

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