Tartans Take One from Radford in Florida
By RYAN COMES
March 13, 2007
The Carnegie Mellon Tartans headed to Florida with high hopes, and were not disappointed, despite a 1-3 record. With a short roster and limited pitching, the Tartans battled hard all four games, taking one against Radford 10-7.
In their first game of the season, CMU started Jon Coens against Dayton, a 2006 World Series team and the #7 ranked team in the nation. The Tartans hung close for 2 innings, as steady defense held the strong Dayton offense scoreless, but the offense couldn't shake the rust off to keep up with Dayton later in the game. In the end, the Tartans fell 10-0 in 6 innings, as Coens tired later in the game.
For game 2, Matt Corbett got the start against Minnesota State and pitched well through 4 innings, as the Tartans jumped out to a 4-2 lead behind a 2 run double from Aaron Hernley. Corbett tired in the 5th, however, and yielded 6 runs as Minnesota State broke the game open 8-4. The Tartans threatened in the 7th, putting 2 men on with no outs, but Brian Tabata lined a shot back to the pitcher, who doubled up Corbett at first, effectively ending the threat.
With the two starters who made the trip used up, the Tartans were forced to pitch by committee on the final day. Coens got the start against Radford on one day's rest and threw well, keeping a no-hitter through 3 innings, before yielding 1 run in the 4th. The Tartan bats came to life as well, pushing 2 runs across in the 1st on Ryan Comes 2-run single. In the 3rd, the team pushed across three more on Jim Stedman's 2-run single and Comes' sac fly.
In the 5th, Coens ran out of gas and Corbett relieved him. Corbett was working on no rest after throwing 100 pitches the day before, but managed to get through the inning, holding Radford to 3 runs and making the score 6-4.
In the bottom of the inning, the Tartans struck back. Stedman led off with a single, stole second, and scored when Comes launched a triple to center field. Keith Menchin singled Ryan in to make the score 8-4. After Coens was hit by a pitch and Hernley reached on an error, Mike Niedzwiecki hit a sac fly to score Menchin. Coens then scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Matt Corbett, making the score 10-4. Langhauser relieved Corbett and worked the final 2 innings, allowing 3 unearned runs and getting the Tartans their first win of the season.
By the end of the third game, the Tartans were out of pitching and had one more game to go with Indiana, one of the best hitting teams at Spring Training this week. Langhauser got the start, but the 2 innings he threw in the previous game and the down time between games got to him, as he yielded 10 runs (6 earned) to the powerful Hoosiers in 2/3 of an inning. Niedzwiecki hadn't pitched in a game since Babe Ruth ball, but gamely took the ball when Langhauser tired and threw 3 and a third innings, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) and striking out 2. Offensively, the Tartans plated a run in the 3rd inning when Niedzwiecki singled and Langhauser followed with a long triple to right center. The game was called from the mercy rule with Indiana winning 15-1.
In the end, the Tartans finished the week 1-3, but played well defensively. The team had 3 outfield assists from Langhauser and Stedman, along with few infield miscues. The club returns to Pittsburgh with some game experience under their belts, where they will rejoin their teammates for a 3 game set with Robert Morris March 24 and 25.