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The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Chaparral Baseball Falls to Lancers in Home Opener

COD couldn’t hang in their first home game of the season against College of Lake County.
Chaparral+Baseball+Falls+to+Lancers+in+Home+Opener
Rachel Wagner

The College of DuPage baseball team didn’t look ready to play in their home opener on March 19, giving up a total of 12 runs in the first three innings to College of Lake County. COD sent out three more pitchers after the defensive lapse, but their offense couldn’t put the team within 10 runs of Lake County before the eighth inning. With their day ended early, the Chaparrals fell to the Lancers 15-3 in seven innings to leave their record at 3-4.

“We haven’t played games in a little bit, and I think it was just about getting the guys back out,” assistant coach Matt Gould said. “The other team just played a little bit better than we did. We’ve got to be better on the mound getting ahead of hitters. That’s the story of the early game. I thought we picked it up as we went through, but it’s going to be a process. This is where we start and we’ve got to build from here.”

Freshman infielder Hudson Williams makes a sliding catch to get a Lancer batter out. (Rachel Wagner)

Freshman outfielder Matt McBrien recorded one hit and struck out once in four at-bats. He also scored one run, hitting his first home run of the season, and collected two RBIs.

“I hadn’t taken very good swings before that at-bat,” McBrien said. “[CLL’s pitcher] was a lefty with arm-side runs so the ball was coming in on me. He ended up throwing me a slider, hung it, and I just stayed back a little bit. I put a good barrel on it, and the wind definitely helped. It was nice to see.”

Sophomore outfielder Jake Pauley added one hit and struck out twice in three at-bats. Pauley’s hit gave him his first home run of the season and COD’s first run of the game. Along with the homer, he also picked up an additional RBI.

“That was my first [home run] in college,” Pauley said. “Coach Gould, before I went up to the plate to lead off the inning, said to sit fastball. That’s what I did. He tells me to put it over [the] center field wall, so it’s just a mindset thing for me. I saw the fastball, and it was about time.”

Freshman pitcher Jimmy Traficanti entered the game during the third inning, pitching through two and two-thirds innings. Traficanti threw two strikeouts, but allowed three hits and two unearned runs.

Sophomore outfielder Jake Pauley slugs the ball over the center field wall to score his first home run of the season. (Rachel Wagner)

“It was a tough situation to come into, already being down by so much,” Traficanti said. “It’s about focusing; one pitch at a time, trusting my defense and not trying to do too much on the mound.”

Freshman infielder Hudson Williams made one hit in three at-bats. He also scored one run, driven in by McBrien’s two run-homer in the seventh inning. With Williams at shortstop, the team said he helped COD defensively as the game progressed.

“We did lose by [12], but I feel like there were a lot of bright spots,” McBrien noted. “Hudson made some really good plays at shortstop.”

The Chaparrals look to bounce back against the Morton College Panthers at 3 p.m. on March 21 in Cicero, Ill.

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