The baseball team defeated Berry College (Ga.) 11-6 Tuesday night. The win is the team’s third in a row, and it improves their record to 16-13 on the year.

“Everything is starting to finally click,” junior left fielder Daniel Iturrey said. “I feel we can go on a roll, make a big run and carry it into the post-season and nextyear.”
Sophomore Connor Dillman started for the Eagles and pitched six shut-out innings. He allowed only three hits and two walks on the way to improving his record to 3-3 on the year and lowering his ERA to 2.32.

“He threw really well,” Iturrey said. “It was definitely beneficial that he came out and threw well from the beginning. He had a lot of confidence on the mound, and he showed it well.”

Offensively, the team was led by freshman second baseman Dylan Eisner, who went 2-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

“It was awesome that Dylan pulled out such a big game,” Iturrey said. “We look forward for him to be doing that more often – we expect the same thing for the next couple years from him.”

Sophomore center fielder Wes Peacock, junior right fielder Brandon Hannon and sophomore first baseman Jordan Selbach each also contributed two hits apiece.

Junior shortstop Jared Kahn’s 14-game hitting streak came to an end, but he still drove in a pair of runs on a groundout and an RBI. Iturrey scored two runs and drove in another, as did freshman designated hitter Chris Slivka.

“The offense was great,” Iturrey said.

The Eagles jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs on four hits in the first inning. Peacock opened the game with a single, and Hannon drove him in with a double. Hannon then stole third, and Kahn drove him in on a groundout.

The Eagles put the game away in the second inning, scoring six runs on four hits and an error. Eisner, Selbach and Peacock opened up the inning with three straight singles, scoring Eisner. Hannon was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Kahn was also hit by a pitch to drive in Selbach.

Junior catcher Jared Welch grounded to the pitcher and reached base on a fielder’s choice as Peacock was thrown out at home. With the bases still loaded, Iturrey walked to drive in Hannon. After another fielder’s choice put Slivka on base, Welch scored on a passed ball.

Junior third baseman Ryan Toscano walked to reload the bases, and then Eisner singled to drive in Slivka and Iturrey. Selbach then lined out to end the inning.

“Taking this big lead showed that we can jump out in games and get ahead early,” Iturrey said.

The Eagles scored another run in the fourth to increase their lead to 9-0. Slivka opened the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third when Toscano grounded out. He then scored when Eisner hit a fielder’s choice to the first baseman.

Berry mounted a comeback of sorts in the seventh inning, scoring five runs on three hits and one error but did not raise a serious threat.

The Eagles added on another run in each of the eighth and ninth innings. Iturrey led off the eighth inning, reached base after being hit by a pitch and stole second. Toscano hit the ball to the shortstop, who made an error that allowed Iturrey to score and Toscano to reach base.

The ninth inning began with Peacock reaching base on a hit-by-pitch. After he stole second, Kahn reached base on another hit-by-pitch. Iturrey was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Slivka was hit by another pitch to drive him in.

Berry scored one run in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the final score to 11-6.
The Eagles hope to continue their three-game winning streak against Georgia Gwinnett College this weekend. Their success will largely hinge on the ability of their offense to produce. The team is averaging 8.4 runs in its 16 victories this season and just 2.8 in its 13 defeats.

Furthermore, the Eagles are 14-1 when they score at least six runs in a game this year. They have scored 30 runs over the course of their current 16-game winning streak.
The Eagles next take the field this weekend, playing games at 2:00 and 4:30 Saturday afternoon against Georgia Gwinnett. This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.

–By Bennett Ostdiek

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