SMCM baseball comes up short versus Randolph-Macon
McDonough grad Stratchko off to 5-6 start as new head coach of Seahawks
Tuesday was sunny and warm which meant the Yellowjackets were out in full force, and that resulted in a rough afternoon for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s baseball team as visiting Randolph-Macon rolled to a 13-1 win at the Hawk’s Nest.
The Yellowjackets (9-4 overall) pounded out 17 hits and scored at least two or more runs in three of the first four innings and added a four-run seventh.
Offensively, the Seahawks were held hitless through five innings and managed one hit, a leadoff double in the sixth by Isaiah Braxton.
“I’m never one to make excuses but we just didn’t come to play today,” St. Mary’s first-year head coach Bernie Stratchko said. “The one thing that we’ve been working on all year is how we prepare and how we go about our business and with a team that’s rebuilding we’re going to have setbacks like this. We didn’t match their intensity today.”
The Yellowjackets, ranked No. 11 in the latest D3baseball. com poll, won their first six games of the season — the first two coming versus St. Mary’s to start the Seahawks’ season Feb. 11 — but just two of their last six heading into Tuesday.
“We’ve been talking about building momentum toward conference [games] and had a really good practice yesterday and we stepped up today,” Randolph-Macon head coach Ray Hedrick said. “I’d like to think this could be a springboard for us toward our conference. I don’t necessarily think it was a fair fight [because St. Mary’s sat several players], but I’m proud of my guys for coming out and being as focused as we’ve been against St. Mary’s.”
St. Mary’s (5-6, 0-1 CAC) began the Capital Athletic Con- ference portion of its schedule Wednesday with an 8-7, 11-in- ning loss to Mary Washington (Va.) and will travel to Salisbury for a twinbill on Saturday.
“[Tuesday] wasn’t one of our best efforts but I think we learned a lot from playing a really good team and moving forward we’ll definitely take the lessons we learned today,” said St. Mary’s senior infielder Zach Rowe, who did not play Tuesday. “We have a core group of guys who want this program to suc- ceed, and I think the pieces are in place to continue with that.”
Randolph-Macon jumped ahead in the top of the first when the first five batters reached base and scored two runs.
The Yellowjackets added two more in the third when Stuart Brown doubled with one out and scored on Blake Saathof’s RBI single to right. Saathof lat- er scored on Ian Pape’s fielder’s choice.
Randolph-Macon put the game away with five runs in the fourth, the big blows being a two-run single by Zach Evans and a solo home run by Rick Spiers.
The Seahawks (5-6, 0-1 CAC) scratched out their only run when Braxton pounded a twobase hit to left and scored when Matt Bieler reached on an error. The visitors tacked on four more runs in the top of the seventh.
Meanwhile, St. Mary’s hitters were being kept at bay by start- er Colin Selby (2-0), who al- lowed a run on one hit, walked five and struck out six in six innings of work.
“I was just trying to stay down in the zone,” said Selby, who threw half of his 72 pitches for strikes. “I kept the ball up in the beginning and it didn’t really help but I knew if I kept the ball down and put the ball in play, my defense would help me.”
“He had a problem with the strike zone and we didn’t capital- ize,” Stratchko said. “I didn’t feel like our approach to the plate was good today. I don’t think when we got up 3-0 in the count that we were as aggressive as we could have been on fastballs. That was all he could throw at that point and then later he figured out his breaking ball and then it got a little tougher.”
Five St. Mary’s pitchers allowed eight walks and struck out three. All 13 runs were earned.
“That’s what’s most important to me. Taking care of the baseball and throwing strikes and we didn’t do enough of that,” Stratchko said.
Stratchko, 32, takes over for quasi-legend Lew Jenkins who stepped down after a winning 358 games in an illustrious 22year career at St. Mary’s.
Stratchko attended McDonough High School where he played four years of baseball, including two seasons with the varsity team. He attended College of Southern Maryland for two years where he played second base and shortstop and then went to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where he played two more seasons.
He attended Frostburg State University where he did his undergraduate work before earning a masters in business administration. Stratchko grew up in La Plata but recently moved to St. Mary’s City.
Stratchko picked up his first collegiate win Feb. 18 in a 10-2 win over Mt. St. Mary’s (N.Y.) that was the beginning of a three-game, two-day sweep for the Seahawks.
“Lew was here until he was 82 and I hope it doesn’t take me that long to figure it out, but in my mind that’s what’s most important, fixing the dayto-day operations and how we go about our business and the wins will take care of itself,” Stratchko said. “As much as the wins and losses matter it’s the process. I have to make sure that when they come in the culture is ready for them and that’s my biggest challenge. I know this is a long process.”
St. Mary’s first baseman Anthony Cangelosi tries to tag out Randolph-Macon baserunner Ryan Duphorn on a pickoff play in Tuesday’s contest. The Seahawks fell 13-1.