Cold temperatures forced many teams to cancel their games this weekend but Sinclair was still able to get a three-game series with Kellogg on Thursday and Friday.
Coming off his first OCCAC Pitcher of The Week Award, Sophomore John Shutrump did not disappoint. Shutrump set the tone early, pounding the strike zone while keeping a low pitch count. He finished the game tossing seven strong innings while only allowing two runs against a very talented Bruins offense. Offensively the Tartans used small ball to put pressure on the defense and took advantage of several defensive miscues. The scoring started in the 2nd, after Blaze Glenn stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Eddie Pursinger hit a ground ball to first and reached first safely on a fielder’s choice as the first basemen tried to get Glenn out at the plate and was unsuccessful. Pursinger would steal second, and he scored on a base hit off the bat of Colin Shepherd. Shepherd added another stolen base, and scored on the misplayed by the third basemen off the bat of Brandon Henson. Henson added the fourth and final run of the inning, as he scored on a failed pickoff attempt. The score will remain 4-0 until the 5th inning when the Pride manufactured another run. Henson led off the inning with a walk, Sean Darmafall bunted him over to second, and Trevor Hafner doubled him in. Kellogg scored one in the 6th and one in the 7th to pull closer but once Glen Richardson entered the game, there would be no comeback. Richardson came out on fire, striking out all six batters he faced to secure the 6-2 win. The Sinclair pitchers did not walk a single batter in game one.
The second game of the double-header did not start off as well as the last. Redshirt-Freshmen Matt Pfeffer made his first start of his career and got into trouble early. Pfeffer walked the first two batters before getting a double play to record the first two outs. A two out single off the bat of Joey Nate gave the Bruins their first lead of the day. Sinclair quickly responded as Brandon Henson led off the bottom half with a triple two left, scoring on a ground ball off the bat of Trevor Hafner. Both teams had a couple chances to score but Sinclair took the lead in the 3rd on an inside the park homerun from Trevor Hafner. Hafner hit a deep fly ball to right that was tailing down the line when the rightfielder made a diving attempt but couldn’t secure the catch. The leap had him down for a minute or two as Hafner rounded the bases. Kellogg answered though with an unearned run in the 4th to tie the game at two. Sinclair plated three unearned runs in the bottom of the inning as the Bruins struggled to handle the baseball. Things would get dicey in the last inning of the game as reliever Matt Chernoff, who pitched a scoreless 6th inning, got into a jam. With the score 7-2, Chernoff walked the first three batters in the 7th and that brought Jack Goonan into the game. Kellogg scored a pair of runs but Goonan recorded the final three outs and ended the game with a strikeout, earning his first save of the season. Pfeffer improved to 3-0 on the season with a strong outing of five innings pitched, while only allowing two runs (one earned).
Day two was not as kind to the Pride as they were the ones to make play sloppy defensively. Starter Jake Dennis allowed one earned run in the 2nd inning before things fall apart in the 4th. With one out, a misplayed ball in the outfielder started things off for Kellogg and to make things worse, a throwing error allowed the runner to reach third. Then came a squeeze play where Dennis would throw the ball up the line, allowing the runner to be safe and the run to score. Another error and a few more hits extended the lead to 7-0 Kellogg. Reliever John Cheatwood came into the inning to record final two outs but not before the Bruins added another run. The Tartans couldn’t mount any kind of comeback as the dropped the final game of the series, 8-1.