Harlem had all facets of its game working Thursday night and it led to the Bulldogs’ first win of the season.
After tough losses to Evans and Grovetown to begin the season, the Bulldogs got dominating pitching and clutch hitting backed by solid defense in their 11-3 win over Aquinas.
“We hit the ball well, played pretty good defense.” Bulldogs head coach Jimmie Lewis said. “We needed a win bad. We needed a little confidence – player confidence and coaching confidence.”
Harlem (1-2) scored eight of its 11 runs with two outs and took advantage of Fighting Irish miscues, including four errors in the fourth inning when the Bulldogs turned a 4-2 lead into a 9-2 advantage.
Aquinas starter Wilfredo Colon-Rios (0-2) lasted 3⅔ innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits while striking out six.
Bulldogs catcher Devin Critell knocked in one of the runs in the fourth inning and had two, two-out hits among his three hits and four RBI.
“The other night I didn’t do too good so there was a lot of pressure on me and I came through when I needed to,” said Critell.
Those leading the 14-hit attack for the Bulldogs were Aaron Moore with three hits and Hunter Rippe with two.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Collin Beasley got the lead for good as he plated two with a two-out single.
Beasley, a junior starting his first game on the mound after missing the last two years with injuries, kept the Fighting Irish (0-2) off balance with a sharp-breaking curveball he threw consistently for strikes. He came out after four innings of work, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out five.
“A few times I tried to rear back and throw a little too hard, but the curveball was good tonight,” said Beasley.
Alex Thompson finished the final three innings, also striking out five while allowing a run in the final inning.