Baseball opens season with 'confidence boosting' 4-3 win

By Daniel Kerwin

Baseball has finally returned to the Metrodome.

The Twins weren’t playing, the stands were all but empty and there wasn’t even an operational scoreboard, but there was no shortage of action as Macalester played a season-opening doubleheader against Jamestown (N.D.) Tuesday afternoon.

Mac managed to pitch out of trouble in the late innings to secure a 4-3 victory in the first game, but time constraints voided the second game just when Mac was making a comeback from a 6-2 deficit.

In the first game, shortstop Chris Papalia ’07 had a pair of RBIs, including the go ahead single in the bottom of the third inning on a bloop single over the shortstop. He later came in to score what turned out to be the winning run on an RBI groundout by third baseman Cody Ching ’08.

Starter John Simkins ’08 picked up the win, leaving the game after 4 innings with a 4-2 lead. James Murray ’10 made his Macalester debut in relief, successfully pitching himself out of two jams in two innings. In the sixth he struck out a batter looking and induced an inning ending outfield fly to strand runners on second and third.

After two runners reached base with no outs in the seventh, Adam Wedwick ’07 came in and closed out the game, inducing two pop ups with the bases loaded for the final two outs.

“I felt relieved, but it was kind of frustrating to have to pitch as much as I did,” Murray said. “It got the butterflies out though.”

The second game saw the debut of first-years Devin English, Nate Wilson-Traisman, Eric Robinson, Nick Slobe and Robert Engel. Robinson pitched two innings of relief, but three Macalester errors caused him to allow five runs, four unearned.

“It’s a pretty nerve-wracking place,” Robinson said of pitching in the Metrodome. “You realize how many great players have played here.”

“It’s a great confidence booster,” Papalia said of the team’s victory. “It feels out there in a kind of radical, tubular way.”

Next Tuesday the team plays a late night doubleheader at the Metrodome against Dickinson State (N.D.). The games are scheduled for 9:45 pm and 12:15 am. Admission is five dollars, and believe me, there’ll be plenty of places to sit.