No. 1 Oswego State Lakers and No. 4 Tufts University Jumbos battled it out behind their two starting pitchers. Robert Donnelly for the Lakers ended up as the top gun by going the distance for a complete-game shutout. Facing 31 batters, he would strikeout nine while allowing six hits and walking just two.
RJ Hall for the Jumbos faced the Lakers in the NCAA regionals last season. Only allowing one run over nine innings, the Jumbos defeated the Lakers 7-1 to put an end to their historic season. This season he would throw all nine innings again and allow just one run again, but the offense in support had no answer for Donnelly’s magic on the mound.
The day did not go by easily for Donnelly. Right out of the gate in the bottom of the first, he had runners on the corners with two outs, but was able to force Ryan Day to groundout to avoid any early damage.
In the 6th inning, Tufts had runners at second and third base with one out after a wild pitch from Donnelly. Facing the third and fourth hitters in the lineup, he would strikeout Tommy O’Hara and force Nick Falkson to groundout to get out of the jam.
Runners on second and third once again in the 8th inning, Donnelly with a 1-0 lead got the best of Falkson again as the chopping groundball went to himself and ended the inning.
Donnelly closed the bottom of the ninth going 1-2-3 as a routine groundball to senior second basemen Zach Kollar put away Tufts University and eliminated them from the tournament.
Freshman’s Fantastic Fifth
Oswego State freshman catcher Lukas Olsson got the chance behind the plate for today’s game. The Lakers still hitless with two outs in the 5th inning, Olsson would line a single to left field to put an end to Hall’s no-hit bid.
That same inning on the defensive side Olsson would throw out Mike McLaughlin and Tom Petry at second base as they both attempted to steal after reaching first base.
Going into today, Olsson started in 12 and played a total of 17 games behind the plate for the Lakers and only threw out one base runner trying to steal in that span. His fifth inning today on both sides served as a big boost for the Lakers down the stretch.
Upperclassmen Seizing the Moment
Junior right fielder John Barnes suffered a hamstring injury over three weeks ago, but he was able to play yesterday and today. Barnes came up to bat in a crucial spot in the 8th inning with fellow senior Wes Randall on third base after he walked and advanced on a passed ball and a wild pitch.
With two outs and a 1-1 count Barnes would bloop a single into center field to bring in yesterday’s hero Randall in to score. Barnes 30th RBI of the season would end up as the game-winner in the 1-0 victory.
“We always find a way, we never quit, it doesn’t matter what happens,” Barnes said. “We know we’re never out of a game with the lineup we have, we have a lot of confidence in our guy’s one through nine.”