Quakers top Pride in rivalry
Paulette S. Wyatt & Patrick Childs
February 26, 2010
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A new season, new players, and a new attitude. The 48-member Quaker baseball team is a force to be reckoned with in 2010. “I feel like we have a lot more talent this year than we have had in the past,” said senior outfielder Alex Starbuck.
On Feb. 18, the cross-town rivals of the Quakers, the Greensboro Pride, traveled to McBane Field. The meeting was the first Quaker home game, as the Feb. 13 game against Ferrum was postponed due to snow.
One inning in, and the Quakers took the lead when Starbuck capitalized on junior Jordan Nelson’s single by doubling into left field and driving in the game’s first run. Two more runs were tacked on in the first inning, and 11 total runs were scored in the 11-6 cross-town victory for the Quakers.
Junior Will Simpson earned the win for the Quakers, allowing three runs off of eight hits in six innings. In the seventh inning, junior David Thomson came in for relief, and allowed just one hit in two innings.
The Quakers tallied 13 total hits on the day, including two from Nelson, senior Drew Ward, and pre-season All-American, junior Kyle Wooden, and three from Starbuck.
Starbuck reached base in all five at-bats against the Pride, and led the team in runs (4). In the third inning, after another Starbuck single, junior Kyle Wooden tripled to give the Quakers a 4-0 lead.
Triples are a rarity for Wooden, who had never tripled in his college career before Feb. 18. In fact, the second-team all-ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) selection from a year ago, is more of a home run hitter. Wooden leads the team with four home runs in 2010, which have come in four consecutive games after the win against the Pride. In 2009, Wooden ranked fourth in the ODAC with 10 home runs.
Last year, the Quakers proved themselves as an offensive powerhouse by leading the ODAC in batting average (.348). But in this game, the Quakers scored runs by being patient at the plate.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Pride pitching walked four Quaker batters, threw four wild pitches, and hit one batter. In doing so, the Quakers scored four runs.
“A GC team won and a GC team lost, but the city of Greensboro was the overall winner in this on-going rivalry,” said sophomore Greensboro College football player Mitch Johnson. “The tables will be (turned) when we play in NewBridge.”
Johnson is hopeful that the second meeting between the Quakers and the Pride, at NewBridge Bank Park, the home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, will entail a better showing for the Pride.
Greensboro College has had the best of the Quaker-Pride rivalry in recent history. In the last four years, the Quakers are just 2-5 against the Pride. But, with a 19-player first-year class, things are looking up for the Quakers.
“Having 48 players is a challenge for everyone,” said first-year pitcher Marcel Joffe. “Me being one of five freshmen pitchers, out of 19 total, has been an experience. I’m ready for the challenge because anything can happen.”
With a team full of younger players, the team’s 10 seniors look to lead by example by exposing their in-game experience.
“We are looking forward to playing Lynchburg this weekend in our home conference opener,” said Starbuck. “I don’t think we have beaten them since I have been here; I’m hoping to take it to them this weekend.”
The Lynchburg game will begin the Quakers’ ODAC season. The first pitch is at 1 p.m. at McBane Field.