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Bison drop final game of the year, VFCC scores five runs in final two innings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2010 season came to a close on Tuesday afternoon at Hoy Field for the Gallaudet University baseball team. The Bison suffered a heartbreaking loss to the hands of Valley Forge Christian College as the visitors scored five runs over the course of the last two innings to steal an 8-6 victory away from GU. The loss spoiled senior day for Chester Kuschmider (Olathe, Kan.), the lone senior on the squad. Gallaudet finishes the season with a 4-34 record.

GU led for the majority of the game, especially when they scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take an early lead, but things fell apart at the end. The Bison defense committed six of its seven errors in the game in the final five innings of play.

The ninth inning was tough to stomach for Bison fans as the Buff and Blue clung to a 6-5 lead. Sophomore Jeremy Shepps (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), who took to the mound in the top of the seventh, ran into trouble as several fielding errors prolonged the inning. The Patriots (8-15), a member of the NCCAA, were able to tie the game on a fielder’s choice which was not handled well at home plate. Shepps (2-10) looked like he was out of the inning as the Patriots faced two outs with the bases loaded but freshman third baseman Jake Moritz delivered the knockout punch with a two-run single to left field.

GU tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth but Patriots reliever Cole Dudiak allowed two baserunners, on first and second base, to reach but recorded strikeouts for the final three outs of the game to earn the save. The last out of the season was Chester Kuschmider (0-for-4, one run), who struck out for the second time in the game.

VFCC pitcher Benjamin Berrios started the game and went deep into the game as he pitched eight innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Berrios walked three but struck out seven. The comeback ended a win opportunity for sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) who went six strong innings where he allowed three runs (two earned) off six hits, walked three and struck out three.

Freshman Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) had his troubles in the field but made up for the errors with a game-high three hits and two RBIs. He finished the day a home run shy of the cycle. His RBI triple in the bottom of the seventh looked like an insurance run as the Bison led 6-3.

Shepps and Barksdale hit back-to-back doubles in the two-run fifth inning for Gallaudet. The two key hits in the three-run second came from sophomore Danny Gabel (Staten Island, N.Y.), a RBI double, and junior Zane Noschese (Pittsburgh, Pa.), RBI single.