GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Freshman Luke Lawrence threw a six-hit complete game and retired the final 10 batters as the Gettysburg College baseball team won its 10th game in a row, downing McDaniel College 3-1 Tuesday afternoon at Kirchhoff Field.
The Bullets (25-10, 11-4 CC) equaled their win total from last year and posted the fifth 25-win season in school history. Also, Gettysburg's win, combined with a Johns Hopkins loss to Washington College and a Haverford win over Franklin & Marshall, puts Gettysburg alone in second place in the Centennial Conference standings and just one game behind Hopkins for first.
Junior Tommy LeNoir finished 2-for-4 and doubled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth.Gettysburg's pitching staff continued its tremendous run, as Lawrence became the fourth starter in a row to work a complete game. During that stretch, Bullet pitchers have allowed just three runs (one earned) and three walks over 36 innings.
It was the second impressive outing in a row for Lawrence (4-3), who scattered six singles, walked one, struck out four, and did not allow an earned run. He also picked up the win in long relief last Tuesday at third-ranked Johns Hopkins University, yielding just one run over seven innings.
The Bullets now own the rare distinction of having two players with hitting streaks of 20 games or longer. Senior Pat Cody finished 2-for-4 and has now hit safely in 23 straight games while junior Al Posch singled to extend his hitting streak to 20.
Pat Christopher and Joe Fiore each picked up two hits for the Green Terror (18-15, 7-8 CC).
McDaniel took a 1-0 lead with a three-hit second inning. Marshall Betts singled leading off before Christopher reached on a bunt. The two moved up on a passed before before Fiore's single down the rightfield line plated Betts and put runners at the corners. But Lawrence got out of it with a strikeout and groundout.
The Bullets, in the meantime, were unable to solve starter Andrew Monger (2-3) until the sixth. Posch singled sharply through the left side leading off before scoring from first on LeNoir's booming double to left. Posch just slid home before a relay throw from the shortstop, which bounced away from the catcher and allowed LeNoir to reach third. Then with the infield draw in, Cody lofted a pop-up that just settled into a hole in shallow right, giving the Bullets their 3-1 lead.
Reliever James Chiorello came on to blank the Bullets over the final three innings.
After the second, Lawrence worked out of trouble in several other innings – including a bases-loaded jam in the third – and was the beneficiary of two outstanding defensive plays.
In the fourth, Fiore led off with a single, but two batters later a heads-up play from junior catcher Cam MacDonald helped the Bullets escape. Gettysburg attempted to turn an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play on Tyler Jackow's grounder to short, but the throw to first was in the dirt, deflecting off the glove of junior Ben Roessle and rolling into foul territory. However, MacDonald was there to back up the play, and his long throw to sophomore Scott Zanghellini nabbed Jackow at second.
In the sixth, McDaniel appeared to be in business when it had runners at second and third with one out before junior centerfielder Patrick O'Grady used his arm to put out the threat. He caught a fly ball in straightaway center for the second out, and with both runners tagging up, he threw out the runner heading to third. But the throw also arrived early enough for the home-plate umpire to rule that junior Nate Simon's tag at third came before the runner crossed the plate, disallowing the run at the plate.
The play kicked off Lawrence's game-ending run, as he retired the side in order from the seventh through the ninth.
Gettysburg and McDaniel conclude their season series on Friday, when they meet in Westminster for a single nine-inning game starting at 3:30 p.m.