Lay-off proves beneficial for baseball

Vic McDowell, The Circuit

Benedictine baseball swept Hannibal-LaGrange 5-2 and 15-9 Tuesday Feb. 23 in their first home stand of the season.

Curtis Marchand took the hill for game one against the Trojans. The senior right-hander scattered seven hits and allowed two runs, one earned, over six innings to get the win. Sophomore Ben Underhill picked up his first career save with a 10-pitch seventh inning to give the Ravens a 5-2 win.

“We got good pitching from Curtis and Ben,” said Benedictine head coach Anthony Everman. “We’ve been looking for is a guy to shut the door. That was encouraging.”

Hannibal struck first in the opening frame with their only two runs as Marchand struggled to locate pitches.

“I was a little over amped for the home opener, which happens,” Marchand said. “After that, I told the guys that one’s on me, it won’t happen again. I settled back down and commanded the zone. I knew the guys were going to get runs for me, so I wanted to throw zeros for them.”

Senior Curtis Marchand has picked up two wins for the Ravens this season. Photo by Ashley Chandler.
Senior Curtis Marchand has picked up two wins for the Ravens this season. Photo by Ashley Chandler.

Freshman Collin Linder provided the spark for the Raven offense. Linder replaced sophomore Logan Finley in center field to start the third inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Linder doubled down the left field line in his first career at-bat to score senior Chris Johnson, capping off a four-run third inning.

“Our guys prepared very well,” Everman said. “We got some freebies from them, but I felt our guys had some good at-bats in the first game.”

This was Benedictine’s first game in two weeks, using the break to recover from being swept by the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Senior Paul Heit believes the Ravens (3-6) pulled together after the layoff.

“It was nice having the last two weeks off,” Heit said. “We were able to get after it in practice. Getting two wins is really good for morale.”

Heit added hitters used the time to adjust.

“With an up-tempo offensive, you kind of get lost trying to go too fast. I think a lot of guys, including myself, slowed things down in our heads,” he said. “We know what we do well as players and what we want as a team.”

The Raven’s pushed the tempo in game two of the double header as they beat the Trojan’s 15-9.

Benedictine scored five runs during the first inning capitalizing on a handful of Hannibal-LaGrange (0-13) miscues. The

Trojan’s starting pitcher Cyrus Phillip’s threw four wild pitches, walked four batters translating into five first inning runs for the Ravens.

Junior Jacob Franey cruised through the first inning, but gave up a run in the second after hitting the lead of batter then surrendering a pair of singles.

The Ravens scored six runs in the third inning off one hit, once again taking advantage of Trojan miscues. Benedictine used three hits batsmen, a pair of walks and two errors to stretch its lead to 11-1.

Franey exited the game following the fourth inning, where the Ravens turned the game over to the bullpen.
Sophomores Seth Slayman, Devon Sesler and junior Casey Splane all appeared for the Ravens.

Slayman surrendered one run in the fifth inning.

Benedictine added three more runs in the forth, then one more in the fifth to push their lead to 15-2

Splane allowed Hannibal to cut the lead to six by giving up four runs in the top of the sixth.

“On the mound, when we get a big inning, we need to throw up a zero,” Everman said. “We need to pump strikes.”

Sessler finished the game off with clean seventh inning.