RUTLAND — The College of St. Joseph Fighting Saints baseball team played in the Builder Invitational this past weekend, Feb. 27-28, hosted by the Apprentice School in Newport News, VA. CSJ went 1-5 over the weekend against top-notch competition. They lost two games by just one run each and showed signs of some really solid play. With so much of the season left, the Saints will use these tough losses as motivation and learn from their mistakes to become a better team. Here is a closer look at how the weekend went down.
The Fighting Saints outhit Bloomsburg University 8-4 on Friday, but were unable to manufacture enough runs, losing the game 5-6. It was a good day at the plate for CSJ’s Connor Martin, who went 3-4 and scored one run. He singled in the fourth and sixth innings and tripled in the eighth inning. Alan Madsen was a workhorse on the rubber for the Fighting Saints. Madsen allowed four earned runs, four hits and one walk while striking out nine over seven innings of work. Madsen was charged with the loss.
The Fighting Saints had the worst loss of the season against Indiana (PA) University, getting outmatched in every facet of the game and eventually losing 3-19. Indiana University had 18 hits to CSJ’s 3 and the Fighting Saints also committed three errors.
CSJ suffered another landslide type of loss in their first game of the day on Saturday against Kutztown University, eventually losing the game with a final score of 2-14. It was a tight game until Kutztown scored 13 late runs to put them up big. The game was tied 1-1 going into the sixth inning and that was when Kutzdown exploded for three runs, seven runs, and three runs again in consecutive innings.
The Fighting Saints lost their lead in the eighth inning to Apprentice in their second game on Saturday, and were unable to make a comeback, losing 7-8 in a hard fought battle. Russ Krebs handled Apprentice’s lineup with ease, racking up five strikeouts. Krebs allowed no earned runs, five hits and no walks over 5 2/3 innings. The Saints played hard but could not get the timely hits at the end of the game that they needed in order to win.
CSJ got their lone victory of the tournament in their first game on Sunday against Apprentice, hitting the ball well and finishing the game with a 9-3 win. Fighting Saints scored in the fourth on an RBI double by Nick Rodriguez, a two-run single by Jared Morello, and a two-run single by Connor Martin. The game was back-and-forth heading into the fourth, with five lead changes. Nick Rodriguez racked up two RBIs on two hits for Fighting Saints. Tyler Kunzmann recorded the win for Fighting Saints. He allowed three runs over nine innings. Kunzmann struck out nine, walked three and gave up nine hits.
While the Fighting Saints hung tough on Sunday, Indiana University pulled away late for the 14-7 victory. Connor Martin did his best to jumpstart the offense for Fighting Saints, reaching base four times. He doubled in the sixth inning and singled in the eighth inning.