Walk off win splits doubleheader with Le Moyne: Cole Swiger’s late game heroics break a tie, save Huskies from sweep

Evin Hartsock, Managing Editor

      The Bloomsburg University baseball team once again relied on its high-powered offense to capture a win at home on Tuesday, April 24, as they won a footrace against #11 Le Moyne College, downing the Dolphins by a final of 11-10 in the first game of a doubleheader.

       A seventh-inning walk-off single from sophomore outfielder Cole Swiger broke the 10-10 tie with the Dolphins and gave Bloomsburg the victory.
Despite scoring 11 runs in game one, the Huskies were unable to find their stride offensively in game two as they fell to the Dolphins 9-2, splitting the doubleheader. Bloomsburg is now 26-10 on the season, with a 15-5 record against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) eastern division opponents.

      Sophomore Ed Herbener got the start on the mound for the Huskies in game one against Le Moyne, the first start of his collegiate career. Heading into the match-up, Herbener had appeared in 10 games for Bloomsburg with 16 strikeouts 21.1 innings and a 5.06 ERA.

       Herbener was challenged early as Le Moyne’s leadoff batter Brian Cox singled to center, then stole second to get in scoring position in the top of the first. After Le Moyne’s Camillo Spinoso flew out, LMC’s Nick Place singled to center, advancing Cox to third. With runners on the corners, right fielder David DiNorcia took Herberner for a single to centerfield to score Cox.

     A sacrifice fly from Nicholas Jacques would continue Le Moyne’s scoring, giving them an early 2-0 lead.

      Bloomsburg responded with two runs of their own due to aggressive baserunning in the bottom of the second. After a leadoff double from Swiger, senior Austin Edgette singled, advancing Swiger to third. With runners on first and third, the Huskies pulled off a double-steal, allowing Swiger to score and Edgette to move to second. Edgette’s single extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

     Herbener would get out of the second inning without allowing any hits and striking out Le Moyne’s Brian O’Mara before BU’s would catch fire in the bottom of the second.

      Edgette opened up the Huskies’ scoring with a two-RBI single that put Bloomsburg up 4-2 with no outs. A hit from catcher Ryan Shiffer and a walk from freshman Ben Newbert loaded the bases for sophomore Andrew Holmes. Holmes, who has smacked four home runs already this season, hit a ball to deep right field for a grand slam, extending BU’s lead to 8-2. The grand slam was Holmes’ second in the month of April.

      Herbener threw another scoreless inning in the third and BU added another run off a Shiffer RBI to make the score 9-2 in favor of the Huskies. In the fourth inning, Herbener would exit the game as BU’s Brett Alaimo would take over on the mound. Herbener would finish the day allowing just two runs and five hits.

     Alaimo gave up one run in the fourth before being pulled for Jeremy Zezza in the fifth inning. The Huskies saw their 9-3 lead disappear quickly as a seven-run fifth inning allowed the Dolphins to take a 10-9 lead over Bloomsburg that they would hold until the bottom of the seventh inning, where Le Moyne would collapse.

      After walking Kyle OFier, who Jake Reed would pinch run for, and hitting Colton Hooker, who Christian Ciotti would pinch run for, Le Moyne’s Cody Barnes found himself with runners on base and just one out. Reed and Ciotti would advance after a ground out from BU’s Nate Krizan to put runners in scoring position. A wild pitch from Barnes allowed Jake Reed to score, tying the game at 10-10.

     Swiger then stepped up to the plate and decided that extra innings would not be needed as he singled to third base to score the winning run.
The Huskies could not carry their momentum over to game two as they found themselves down 9-0 after just two innings. Le Moyne’s starter for game two, Joe Vail, kept BU’s big bats at bay as he threw a complete game, giving up just three hits and two runs.

      Bloomsburg’s only offense in the game came from a solo home run from OFier and a sacrifice RBI from sophomore Nate Krizan. On the defensive side of things, BU’s pitchers could not seem to hit a stride as Le Moyne’s lineup proved to be too much for the Huskies.
Sophomore Mark Bobko got the start for Bloomsburg in game two, pitching just 6.2 innings this season. Bobko quickly found himself in a hole as the Dolphins’ offense generated four runs in the top of the first alone.

       Ssophomore James Reardon IV took over for Bobko, but could not stop the bleeding as the Dolphins put up five more runs in the second inning.
The Huskies will move on to a home and away series this weekend that will feature two doubleheaders against West Chester on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. The series will have massive postseason implications for both teams as Bloomsburg currently has a two-game lead on the Golden Rams for first place in the PSAC East.