Men’s baseball defeats Hawaii Pacific University in close game

The Eagles beat the Sharks in a 7-6 victory.

Adam Pigott, Staff Writer

The men’s baseball team now holds a three-game win streak after beating the NCAA Division II Hawaii Pacific University Sharks, 7-6. Yesterday’s game marked the beginning of the second four-game series with Hawaii Pacific. The Sharks gained the first point of the game in the second inning, but the Eagles were able to take the lead with a grand slam from sophomore center fielder Brandon Cody.

“With my grand slam I was put in a good position with the guys in front of me being good with the bats,” Cody said. “[The Sharks] came right at me and threw me good pitches. The guys in front me did a great job making adjustments and laying off tough pitches.”

After the grand slam from Cody, the Sharks came back to win innings four and five. Neither of the teams scored in the sixth or seventh innings, and the Sharks were able to maintain the lead until the eighth inning, where sophomore infielder Conor Kostecka hit a double that tied the game 5-5. Following Kostecka’s double, the Eagles scored two more doubles from sophomore second base/shortstop RobertAnthony Cruz and senior outfielder Jerron Largusa to put the Eagles in the lead, 7-5.  

The Sharks brought in their two best hitters in an effort to tie the game. However, junior right-handed pitcher Josh Ludeman finished the game with a groundout and a strikeout to officially close the game with a 7-6 victory. The closing marks Ludeman’s second save against the Sharks this season after he sealed a 10-6 victory back in February.

“We came out a little bit flat and let the other team take it,” Ludeman said. “But we were never out of it… We have been a team that comes back in the end of games and it definitely showed today.”

Head coach Justin Duarte was very satisfied with the win over the Sharks.

“Hawaii Pacific battled us,” Duarte said. “They got in the lead in the middle part of the game. Any conference win is a great win… Every opponent we are playing, they are good. They are tough… It really just comes down to ‘who is going to be a little a grittier’ and ‘who is going to be a bit tougher.’”

The Eagles (22-15 overall, 13-12 PacWest) are now scheduled to face the Sharks again in another doubleheader on Friday at Eagles Diamond 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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