Co-Lin riding 4-game win streak

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2003

WESSON – Riding a 4-game winning streak, the Co-Lin Wolves huntfor more baseball success Monday when they host Onondaga CommunityCollege of Syracuse, N.Y. The twinbill starts at 4 p.m., onSullivan Field.

Co-Lin (6-9) rode the 3-hit pitching of freshman MattFitzsimmons to a 10-2 Friday triumph over the Spoon River (Ill.).Crusaders. Fitzsimmons, a right-hander from Brookhaven, went 6innings in posting his first win of the season, striking out 3batters, walking 2 and giving up 2 earned runs.

“It felt real good the first four innings,” said Fitzsimmons.”My 2-seam fastball was working and so was my slider.”

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Fitzsimmons had been slowed by recurring arm problems. He hadmissed last summer’s action with the Brookhaven Brakemen due to anelbow injury which flared up again during fall practice atCo-Lin.

“It feels good right now,” said Fitzsimmons. “We’ve got a winstreak going. We are a young team and we are starting to hit theball better.

Co-Lin catcher Aaron Oberschmidt agreed. “Our pitchers arestarting to locate better and hit their spots. We are hitting theball better, too.”

Fitzsimmons was replaced by freshman Thomas Garland in the topof the seventh. Garland gave up 1 hit, struck out 1 batter andwalked 1. Jacob Leggett hurled the ninth frame, striking out 2 andwalking 1.

Offensively, the Wolves finished with 10 hits off 3 Spoon Riverpitchers. Rightfielder Jeffrey Waycaster led the attack with atriple, a double and a single. In the fourth frame, Waycasterdelivered a bases-loaded triple down the right field line, plating3 runs and giving Co-Lin a 6-2 advantage.

“I’m seeing the ball pretty good,” said Waycaster. “We startedthe season slow and didn’t seem to get a break. Now we are startingto get some.”

Co-Lin head coach Keith Case said his players dealt withadversity during a busy week of Spring Break baseball. The Wolvesrebounded from a doubleheader loss to Kishwaukee (Ill.) on Mondayto beat the Kougars in the third game of the series. They sweptSpoon River Thursday night in a muddy, rain-spattereddoubleheader.

“The weather made it extra-tough this week,” said Case. “Ourguys hung with us and they adjusted. When it came time to play,they were ready to step it up.”

Case said he was pleased with the performance of Fitzsimmons,originally a basketball signee at Co-Lin two years ago. “Mattpitched well and he has been getting better. He decided to get outthere and go at guys. He has a live arm.”

Spoon River (1-11), coached by Joe Moore, was unable to containCo-Lin’s batters. Centerfielder Paris Dancy and first baseman BenGoza both doubled and singled in Co-Lin’s 13-hit offensive.

In the seventh, Dancy singled and scored on Goza’s RBI single toleft, giving Co-Lin a 7-2 lead. Oberschmidt provided a sacrificefly and it was 8-2. Joey Sullivan followed with a double over theleftfielder’s head and it was 9-2.

In the eighth, pinch hitter Jeb Lee singled to left and CayceWallace slapped an RBI single past shortstop for a 10-2advantage.

After Dancy doubled home Waycaster in the bottom of the first,it was a 1-0 Co-Lin lead until the third inning. Co-Lin leadoffbatter Casey Ginn was hit on the foot by a pitch from Ryan Jones.Designated hitter Chase Coley smashed a liner which knocked theglove off Jones. Waycaster doubled home Ginn for a 2-0 lead.Waycaster scored on a throwing error and it was 3-0.

The Crusaders came to life in the fourth frame. Leadoff batterAdam Burroughs collected the first hit off Fitzsimmons. Burroughslater scored on a throwing error. Fernando Alvarez walked andscored on a sacrifice fly, reducing Co-Lin’s lead to 3-2.

Co-Lin responded with a 4-run splurge in the bottom of thefourth. Aaron Guillot singled and scored the fourth run onWaycaster’s triple.