Baseball NEWS

Baseball finishes with split in opening doubleheader vs. Potomac State

March 6, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — For the first time all season the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) won back-to-back games. The unfortunate part was it didn’t come on the same day.

The Patriots failed to win their first doubleheader of 2016 Saturday (Mar. 5) after taking the opening game as it did twice in a four-game set at home two weeks ago against Louisburg College at Hooker Field. PHCC used another masterful performance in Game 1 by sophomore No. 1 starter Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va.) in a 6-1 win before coming up a run short in a 4-3 loss in Game 2.

PHCC posted a win coming off a 10-4 victory in the closing game last weekend at Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.), avoiding a sweep, but again found it difficult to carry the momentum over to Game 2 in the same day. It’s become a lack of focus more than anything said first-year PHCC head coach Frank Jagoda, and an inability to push through long days of playing the game.

“We know how to win ballgames but we need to find a way to win the next one,” Jagoda said. “The first game doesn’t mean anything it’s the next one. You hear the expressions all the time like one pitch at a time, one inning at a time, one at bat at time, and in the grander scheme of things it’s one game at a time. We can’t get complacent with what we did in game one or upset at what we did, game two is an entirely new game.

“We simply need to play better baseball in Game 2,” Jagoda added. “We can’t come out and give up free bases, we need to make defensive plays. Not every play is going to be routine and we have to make some plays. We had a two defensive miscues and a baserunning blunder that cost us and if you take that out of the equation we win that ballgame 2-1.”

Maynard nearly duplicated his first home start against Louisburg College on Feb. 20, striking out 14 and walking none, while allowing two hits in a complete-game effort. He struck out 14 and walked none while allowing three hits in a complete-game shutout win — his first of the season — against the Hurricanes. Maynard was able to bounce back from his previous start in South Carolina as a five-run inning sent him to his second loss of the season.

Jagoda said his No. 1 starter commanded the zone and battled his way to opening the weekend on the right foot. Maynard added that the comfortability he has on his home mound plays a big role as he’s posted an 11.70 ERA on the road with 15 strikeouts to five walks. He managed Saturday to strikeout the side in order four times.

“It’s trying not to do too much. Last week I got in trouble when I tried to overthrow or make too perfect of a pitch,” said Maynard of his adjustments. “(Today) I just did whatever I could do and have confidence in my stuff.”

A four-run, fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie and finally gave Maynard a little bit of breathing room from which to work.

Freshman Brandon Nania (Murrysville, Pa.) hit a two-run single, finishing the game 3-for-4, while Jonah McReynolds (Martinsville, Va.) added a two-run double — his only hit of the game — to cap the scoring. The Patriots totalled 10 hits in the game yet still managed to leave seven runners on base in the opener.

Jose Castro (Richmond, Va.) was the only other PHCC hitter in Game 1 with a multi-hit game, notching his first double of the season.

“We had our big inning and were able to hold it and play defense behind Jack,” Jagoda said. “We made some great plays defensively and (Maynard) commanded the zone and didn’t give up any free bases. I think the proof is in the pudding that if you don’t give away bases and don’t walk guys you’ll be in almost every game.”

The big inning couldn’t be found in Game 2 as a total of five hits and four errors worked against the Patriots.

McReynolds and Castro drove in runs in the fourth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit but the offense couldn’t score more than a run over the final two innings after seeing the leadoff batter reach base in each frame. Sophomore transfer Ryan Coale (Lexington, Va.) had two hits and a walk as the only Patriot hitter in Game 2 with multiple hits.

Sophomore No. 2 starter Yashuan Santiago battled through four tough innings, striking out six and walking four while scattering five hits. Two of Santiago’s four runs allowed were unearned. Sophomore transfer Kemper Terry (Collinsville, Va.) pitched three shutout innings of relief, allowing two hits while walking none and striking out two.

The doubleheader split moved PHCC’s record to 6-9 and will look to win the series with a doubleheader sweep against the Catamounts starting at noon today (Mar. 6).

“If we come out and get two the next day it’ll be a good weekend,” Maynard said.

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