By Roderick M. Wilbon, Sports Editor
The University of Missouri-St. Louis baseball team arrived home to snow. Shocking for them, but not those still on the UMSL campus. The Tritons are coming off their Florida Spring Trip.
The Tritons took on various opponents and they won 3-10. On March 15, the Tritons opened with a double-header home play versus Bemidji State. The Tritons’ home games are played on the UMSL Baseball Field on the South Campus.
UMSL came into the game is 5-8 overall and Bemidji State is 2-8. The teams seemed to match up well and then the games started. In the first game the Tritons came out aggressive and swinging. They had 12 hits for the game; and used their speed and base-running to advance on seven errors by the Beavers.
Cooper Vinz, senior, accounting, had four hits total for the game, with two RBI and two runs. Jake Morsch, senior, undeclared, had similar numbers adding a walk and three runs scored. UMSL’s first three runs came in the first inning, off two hits and three errors. In the second inning UMSL continued the game plan with three more runs. One of those runs was a homer from Vinz, to extend the lead to 6-0.
UMSL went off again in the fourth inning for six-hits scoring six runs pushing the lead to 12-1. The game would end 13-4 in favor of UMSL. Matt Graser, junior, business administration, pitcher for the game earned the win giving only four runs and only two of those being earned runs.
Game two would be different for UMSL after they seemed to get comfortable or overconfident. The Beavers came out super aggressive scoring all five of their runs in the first inning, taking scoring opportunities off three walks and an error.
The Tritons would respond shortly at the bottom of the first inning to score on a two-run double by Josh Shoemaker, freshman. Then in the third, Tom DeCero, junior, criminology and criminal justice, hit for an RBI triple, and then scored himself on a passed ball to make it 5-4. Keaton King, sophomore, accounting, hit a single and then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
The scary moment in the game was in the last inning when Derrick Freeman, sophomore, supply chain, had the bottom of the bat hit and it jumped to hit him in the wrist. The umpire calling time gave Freeman a minute to walk it off. Freeman then walked up and blasted the ball for a triple and then scored off Jacob Monti, senior, criminology and criminal justice, who hit a sac fly to win the game. Riley Pawelski, junior, psychology, is credited with the win.
“Feels great, we came out swinging in the first game,” said Head Coach Wahl. “I feel like we let up a little and it showed in the second game. Wahl would go on, “Yeah, we gave the other team a five-run spot and had to battle back…This team has no quit though, they have a lot of fight, and we’ll never be out of a game…It great to get two wins,” said Wahl.
“We didn’t keep up the tempo very well and took off one inning,” said Vinz. “I think we played pretty well today though.” Vinz went on to say, “It’s great to see this many students and family support us for the first game.”
The Tritons have a few more home games to really get warmed up for Great Lakes Valley Conference action. UMSL faces Southern Indiana March 21 at 3 p.m., at home before going on the road to start GLVC action against Drury.