Pitchers prevail at Builder Invitational

The Builder Invitational reigning champion KU baseball team took the trophy home for the second year in a row after beating Bloomsburg University 2-0 on Sunday, Feb. 26 in Newport News, Va.
The Golden Bears (4-2) went an astonishing 27 innings without allowing an earned run in the four-day tournament.
Reliever Colin Holmes was impressed with the entire pitching staff and said, “We all went out and made sure we got ahead in the count and didn’t give in. Even if we found ourselves in a jam, we let them put the ball in play and have the defense do the work.”
In the championship game against Bloomsburg (2-2), KU struck first, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Their early offensive production was all that proved necessary, as eight total Golden Bear pitchers stymied the Huskies’ offense throughout the contest.
Southpaw Tom Neely started the game and threw two innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. After Neely exited the game, pitchers Gilbert Vega, James Rossi, Dave King, Jordan Gottshall, J.R. Seader, Damon Valloreo and Matt Swarmer each threw shutout innings in that order. King recorded his first victory of his KU career, while Swarmer struck out the side in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Kyle Stoudt, Matt Albaugh, Thomas Romano and John Dockins each recorded hits in the game. Dockins, the starting shortstop, was the only Golden Bear with two hits, improving his average to .353 on the season.
In game two on Friday, KU won against host Apprentice School 5-2. After a shaky start in his last outing, Brandon Shurr recorded the victory, throwing five innings and giving up two hits and one earned run.
Brandon Shimo relieved Shurr after five innings and threw a perfect sixth and seventh while striking out four. Shimo, a transfer from Lackawanna Community College, has thrown three scoreless innings this season, striking out four of the ten batters he faced.
Carson Baker and Albaugh, three and four hitters in the lineup respectively, both had two hits and a combined three RBI’s in the game.
In the Golden Bears first game of the weekend, the pitching staff threw a combined one-hit shut-out to lead the team to a 5-0 victory over Lock Haven University (0-3).
Ace Jason Henderson started the game, earned the win and recorded five strikeouts in as many innings while giving up Lock Haven’s only hit of the game. Colin Holmes, Connor Wing and Swarmer took the reins pitching for the rest of the contest.
KU’s offense rallied behind Stoudt, who went 4-5 with four singles and a run scored. Stoudt leads the team in average (.542), runs (4) and RBI’s (4). DH Brandon Hickey also had a big game going 2-3 with two RBI’s. He is second on the team in average, batting .364.
The Golden Bear’s next upcoming games are a double-header against Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va. on Saturday, March 9.

By Bill Felo

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