The University of Dayton baseball team finally hosted its home opener this season as part of the UD/WSU Classic, taking place on Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10, at Woerner Field.
Dayton played a doubleheader against Bryant University on Saturday, before playing host to Bradley University on Sunday.
Dayton lost the opening game of the tournament 3-2 in 11 innings, then went on to also lose the second game of the day by a final score of 3-1.
UD kept the Bulldogs in check through the first four innings of play in game one, not allowing a single base runner.
Bryant University got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fifth inning, ending senior starting pitcher Parker Schrage’s hopes of a perfect game, scoring a pair of runs, making it 2-0.
UD answered right back in its half of the inning, scoring a run of its own. Senior second baseman Jared Broughton had a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing senior center fielder Ian Hundley to run home and cut the deficit to one.
The Flyers tied the game in the bottom of the ninth when junior third baseman Robby Sunderman led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall, knotting the game at two to force extra innings.
Bryant University reclaimed the lead in the top of the 11th with a double bouncing off the left field wall from the bat of sophomore third baseman John Mullen, which scored senior second baseman Adam Claire, for a 3-2 lead.
The double proved to be the difference maker, as the Flyers were unable to fire back in the bottom half of the inning to end the ballgame.
Schrage pitched a season-high nine innings, allowing only three hits. Sophomore pitcher Denton Sagerman (2-1) picked up the loss by giving up the final run of the game. Sunderman piloted UD’s offense, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and a run scored.
According to Dayton head coach Tony Vittorio, the team’s deficiency wasn’t in its pitching, it was hitting and leaving runners in scoring position.
“Parker pitched well enough to win,” Vittorio said. “We played defense behind him too, but it all comes down to the offense and we’re still struggling to find an offensive presence at the moment.”
In game two of the double header, Dayton took the lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a single by Sunderman to right that scored redshirt freshman designated hitter Kevin Colburn.
Bryant University tied the game at one in the third, and would go on to add another run in the sixth and ninth innings, respectively.
UD was unable to comeback this time in the ninth, falling 3-1.
The offense, according to Vittorio, proved to be the team’s down fall yet again. Dayton only recorded four hits compared to Bryant’s nine.
“Obviously, we weren’t that hard to pitch to us today,” he said. “In both games, and all year so far, there’s been no offense. We’re an inexperienced team searching for the right players to put in the lineup.”
Sophomore pitcher Noah Buettgen (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings on the mound.
On Sunday, Dayton fell 9-3 to Bradley University.
Up 1-0 in the fifth, Bradley University started the inning against UD senior right-hander Trent Haughn with back-to-back base hits before Bradley senior fielder Mike Tauchman hit a three-run homer to break the game open. Bradley University would score twice more in the inning off a wild pitch and a bases loaded walk to complete the five-run frame.
Dayton got a pair of home runs in the sixth and seventh innings for its runs off Bradley sophomore starting pitcher Stephen Toma. Broughton hit a two-out solo home run in the sixth, and Colburn added a two-run shot in the seventh.
According to Schrage, winter weather conditions so far have been a problem in the team’s schedule, especially in hindering the pitching staff. The team has had three different games canceled due to snow alone this season.
“It’s different not being able to throw in warm weather, for me at least,” Parker said. “You’re not as loose and I hope it turns around soon.”
Dayton returns to the diamond to face Toledo University at 3 p.m., on Tuesday, March 12, at Woerner Field.