Brendan McLeanStaff Writer
On senior night, senior starting pitcher Greg Marakovits threw an absolute gem in a 1-0 win for the Pride against Keene State. Marakovits threw a five-hit shutout against the Owls to win his final game in a Pride uniform.
“I felt like I threw the ball well. I was able to locate all of my pitches, making it easier to keep their hitters off balance,” Marakovits said. He was able to dominate the Owl hitters throughout the entire ball game.
Any time Keene State got runners on base, Marakovits would make a big pitch to get the Pride out of a jam. Bobby Graham for the Owls was up in the second inning with the bases loaded and Marakovits forced Graham to hit into a ground ball to end the inning. In the fourth inning Joe Libby was up for the Owls with two runners on base and Marakovits forced a fly out to escape the inning.
The Pride’s bats were ineffective until Brent Poulin ripped a double into the gap. Mike McGowan grounded out and Poulin advanced to third on the play. With one out in the inning, Frank Calabrese singled in Poulin to score the Pride’s lone run.
“Timely hitting is conducive to scoring runs. We have hitters that are capable of getting big hits in big spots,” coach Mark Simeone said.
“It’s definitely more difficult to pitch in a close game. Everyone would always love to have a five-run lead to work with, but that’s not always the case,” Marakovits said.
Later in the game, the Pride had to survive a scare. Greg Bates for Keene State was up in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, and he hit a deep ball to centerfield that looked like it could cause some damage. Steve Starr reached up on the run to make a nice catch to preserve the lead for the Pride. Once he got to the dugout his teammates congratulated him and realized just how big of a catch that was.
In the sixth inning the Owls had a runner on third with two outs when the Owl batter softly grounded to third base. Calabrese sprinted toward the ball, leaned down to snag the ball, and threw it over to McGowan at first base to barely record the out and keep the lead for the Pride.
The Owls used a number of different pitchers. It looked like they were just trying to get different guys some work and experience. Daniel Osorio started the game for the Owls, but only went two innings. Eddie Dionne came into the game in the third. John Coughlin also saw some time in this game.
Simeone sent Marakovits right back out there for the ninth inning, and he proved his manager’s decision to be the right one. Marakovits saw three hitters in the ninth inning, and he got all three of them out.
Marakovits, Matt Milano and Kyle DiFranco are the three seniors on this team. Milano got the start behind the plate, while Marakovits was on the mound. DiFranco was the everyday left fielder for this team before his injury. All played their final game for the Pride, and luckily they were sent off with a win.
The Pride ended their season 8-11 in conference play and 14-18 overall.