By NICK TRICOME | Contributor
March 16 2015, 10:00 AM EDT.
Mike Lake was hoping the bats would wake up.
Following a shutout loss to Northeastern on Friday, La Salle’s head coach and the rest of his staff had a long talk with the team about its approach at the plate, what to look for and how to slow the game down.
After rain pushed Saturday’s game into Sunday for a doubleheader, the bats did wake-up, as the Explorers tallied 26 runs to take both games against Niagara by finals of 15-4 and 11-3.
La Salle jumped right out of the gate in game one, with a four-run rally in the first that was sparked by a two-run double by junior Joey Ravert.
Redshirt senior catcher Ryan Welling followed up with a triple to right center that brought Ravert home, then made it a 4-0 game when he scored on a wild pitch.
La Salle combined for five more runs in the next two innings, ending Sophomore right-hander Liam Stroud’s (L, 0-2) day for Niagara, after he allowed eight runs (six earned) off eight hits and two walks in two and 2/3 innings.
Senior left-hander Freddy Andujar got the start for the Explorers, throwing four innings in which he allowed four runs (three earned) off three hits and four walks.
Andujar got caught in a bases-loaded jam in both the second and fourth innings. A run was allowed in the first situation via an RBI single from freshman third baseman Tanner Kirwer, but Andujar forced an unassisted groundout to third in the next at-bat to end the inning.
Kirwer recorded another RBI in the fourth after he grounded into a fielder’s choice with one out, then advanced to second on an error that allowed sophomore catcher Joel Brophy to score.
While he was on second, though, Andujar noticed something.
“He had a big lead,” Andujar said.
Enough of one to allow him to get picked off from the mound to end the inning.
The bullpen took over from there, with junior right-hander Billy Worswick (W 2-0), redshirt sophomore right-hander Greg Krug and freshman right-hander Ty Castellano combining for seven strikeouts and five perfect innings in relief.
The Explorers offense put together one more big inning in the sixth, when they pegged Niagara’s redshirt sophomore reliever Matt McCuen for another six runs.
Joey Ravert went 3-for-4 with three RBI as the designated hitter in the lineup for game one. He was sent to the mound to start in game two, notching his third win of the season after striking out four, and allowing two runs in five and 1/3 innings of work.
The left-handed batter also returned to the plate to pinch hit in the bottom of the fifth against Niagara’s right-handed sophomore reliever Daniel Procopio. The result, with two outs and runners on first and second, was a three-run bomb to right-center.
“We saw a righty against a lefty,” Lake said. “[Ravert is] more apped coming through there.”
It showed, as Ravert’s fourth homer of the year capped off a seven-run inning for the Explorers.
La Salle followed with another four runs in the sixth, via a two-run single from senior left-fielder Cameron Johnson, and then another from redshirt senior catcher Ryan Welling.
Redshirt senior right-hander Adam Cherry pitched scoreless ball for the final one and 2/3 innings to cap off the doubleheader.
The Explorers improved to 8-10 after Sunday. They will play Delaware State in Dover on Tuesday before opening up Atlantic 10 play against Davidson next weekend.
Justin Korenblatt was moved up into the leadoff role for the first time in his career. The senior center-fielder, who led the led the team with a .382 batting average and a .475 on-base percentage, went 4-for-5 with a run and two RBI at the top of the order in game one. He went 1-for-3 in game two with a walk, an RBI and two runs.
- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news source in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of all things baseball related in the Philadelphia region.