GREENSBORO, NC – For the second day in a row and third straight game the Quakers jumped out to an early lead. This time, however the Presque Isle Baseball team was able to show some fight. Down 6-1 in the third the Owls finally got on the board when senior Cam Morrell drove a ringing double deep to left-centerfield plating fellow senior Josiah Brazier.
The relentless Guilford attack continued, and by the top of the sixth the Owls found themselves in an even deeper hole. Facing a 9-1 deficit, Morrell once again drove in Brazier, this time with a single. An Adam Begos groundball plated senior Shane Smith and reliever Tommy Collins managed to keep the Quakers off the board in the bottom half of the sixth.
The Owls would mount one more major attempt at a comeback in the seventh, when senior Justin Bergeron drove in senior Ryan Thompson with a double. The Owls would load the bases, down 9-4, but a pitching change would slam the door shut on the opportunity. Guilford would go on to extend their lead and seal their third straight victory over the Owls.
Freshman Isaiah Straubel took the loss in his first outing on the mound for the Owls, while Justin Jordan was credited with the win in relief for the Quakers.
"The bottom line is that our season didn't start out the way we anticipated or wanted," said Head Coach Mike Pankow of his team. "It's hard not to feel pressure on opening day, and when things aren't going your way, everyone wants to be the guy to make things right, but our kids were putting a lot of pressure on themselves to be the one. Prior to this game we decided to concentrate on playing loose, relaxing, and doing something we have all done thousands of times before. While the results still aren't what we wanted, we took a major step in the right direction. We had a freshman pitcher on the mound that wasn't afraid, did his job and threw strikes, and we finally relaxed at the plate and were able to put at least a little pressure on a very good team."
The Owls will continue their trip by taking on Roanoke College at 1 PM on Thursday at Guilford College. They will then move further north and play at Eastern Mennonite University on Friday at 3:00, and then take on Washington and Lee University in a double header Saturday at noon.