The Whaler baseball team traveled to Bishop Connolly to take on the Cougars Saturday afternoon with the hope that they could begin their season with a victory. The lineup features a number of new faces, but some of last year’s key contributors such as seniors Colin Lynch and Argelis Nunez remain.
Nantucket lost the game 9-1, but the score is deceptive when it comes to describing how the game actually went.
“The final score, I wouldn’t say, is totally indicative of how we played,” head coach Jack Pearson said. “It isn’t a total loss. There is a lot we can take into next week and learn from.”
The Whalers struck first in the top of the first following an RBI single by Shea Dwyer to bring Nunez home to take an early 1-0 lead. Bishop Connolly answered with a run in the bottom half of the first inning, and then added one more in the second and the third.
Nantucket’s bats went quiet after that first slate of at-bats, but the Whalers still found themselves very much into the game in the top of the fifth inning trailing just 3-1.
“We made some early season mistakes for sure,” Whaler head coach Jack Pearson said. “Getting picked off on bases, we were throwing it around a little bit more than I’d like. Their kid threw a good game. He mixed his speeds the entire time, but aside for a couple we didn’t really put a lot of charges into any of his pitches.”
Senior outfielder Gillis Cocker found himself in scoring position in the fifth inning after stealing second base, but he was picked off after getting a little too greedy with his lead. It stalled the momentum Nantucket had been building in the inning with an eye towards trimming the lead to one.
Dwyer was on the mound for the Whalers and pitched a strong game.
“Shea did well,” Pearson said. “He was hitting his spots and didn’t get rattled out there. I thought Ronald did a nice job. He had a hit robbed from him with a line drive up the middle where their guy made a diving play, but then he came in and did some good things. Something to build on.”
Dwyer kept the Cougar’s bats relatively quiet until the fifth inning. Bishop Connolly scored four runs in that inning to extend their lead to 7-1, with Ronald Del Rosario Gomez coming in to take over midway through the inning. Gomez closed out the game and while he gave up a couple of additional runs, the freshman showed his upside with a pair of strikeouts in the final inning.
“We got to put up more runs. That is the bottom line,” Pearson said. “I am happy with the fact that there weren’t too many K’s – I think only one or two looking – which is an improvement from last weekend (scrimmages). Hitting count management a little bit better is something to work on. I think Colin there in the last inning swung at a bad 2-1 pitch. I think guys were just a little antsy in the early part of the game swinging at pitches we shouldn’t be because they were pumped up for the first game. But we can get better, and it also starts with us being smarter on the bases.”
The Whalers will look to win their first game of the season on Wednesday, April 12 when they host the Rising Tide Herons at 4 p.m.