Saturday, May 3, 2014

Oh, Mercy....The Streak Continues, Baseball Downs Cumberland, 12-2

Streaks were the name of the game yesterday at Ray Pepin Field...two that continued, and one that ended. 

The baseball Hawks continued their offensive fireworks display, knocking off the Cumberland Clippers to go to 9-0. For those of you keeping score at home, however, the Hawks have now "mercy-ruled" (leading by 10 or more runs at the conclusion of at least five innings) their last five opponents by the sum score of 56-6. 

The Clippers' seven-game winning streak was also snapped in the process. 

As has been pointed out here on The Network site and during our broadcasts this season, this is in most ways that matter a welcome change from last year, when the Hawks rode the lights-out pitching of Mike King to a near-undefeated season, dropping only a single game to Johnston in the state finals. While on the surface the overall record was eye-popping, it belied the fact that in far too many games over the course of the entire schedule, our guys had to hold on for dear life for the wins, since run production was for some maddening reason rather scarce. 

Obviously, this season is much different. Mike McCaffrey and Matt Kennedy - the Hawks' two primary starting pitchers - have been the beneficiaries of a relentless offensive attack, so their very solid efforts on the mound have been more than enough to nail down comfortable wins. The relief pitching of Christian Travers, Mike Webb, and Anthony Cofone has also been noteworthy. 

While there's no question our guys are a very good baseball team, it remains to be seen whether the string of lopsided scores that we've seen lately are actually the result of an overpowering attack or the quality of the pitching that they've faced. On first glance, it certainly seems to be more the talent of our lineup, but until the Hawks face another pitcher the quality of, say, LaSalle's CJ Danadaneau, that question may remain answer that may come this Tuesday afternoon down on Academy Avenue, when the Hawks once again take the field against the Rams. We'll have that game live, right here on The Network

As for yesterday's game, which we also broadcast live, a few points are worthy of note.

As for the broadcast, each time out is a learning experience. One of the things we've been desperately trying to figure out is a way to get The Network banner hung out during the home baseball broadcasts from our left-centerfield perch. With the wind currents up there, it isn't easy. We thought we might have had it figured out, but alas, things didn't turn out so well:

So, if you're at any of the upcoming home games and happen to witness what looks to be a maddening process, you'll know what's going on. 

Virtually the entirety of yesterday's game can be seen right here, with the last 15 minutes or so available in the first Ustream viewer at the top of the site:

Video streaming by Ustream

The offensive attack was led by the number 9 through 4 hitters (counting sophomore shortstop John Willette as a de facto double leadoff hitter), as they went a combined 11-20, with leadoff hitter Christian Aybar contributing three hits and catcher Gian Martellini once again going yard, connecting on a three-run homer in the first inning.

Mike McCaffrey once again did his job on the bump, tossing all six strong innings, allowing two runs and four hits to go along with his nine strikeouts. He had a mildly tough third inning, but he managed himself through it and kept any damage to a minimum. 

All relevant game stats are provided below. 

From here the Hawks prep themselves for their next encounter with the Rams, which will be Tuesday at 4pm at LaSalle. We'll have all the action, live, right here on The Network starting at about 3:55.