The Bulldogs opened the 2011 season with a 9 inning game at Shorter University.
The Bulldogs started off the first inning with Johnny Smith getting to 2nd base on a wild throw. Smith reached third by a passed ball and Cody Gaskill was walked. Stephen Branca was up next hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Smith. Bergin struck out and then Gaskill was caught stealing to end the top of the first. Matt McCracken, a senior left-hand pitcher for the Bulldogs, gave up 2 runs in the first inning.
In the top of the second, Rafael Carlot was walked and then reached second on a wild pitch. Jordan Guida was up to bat and reached first on fielder's choice, but with a wild throw, Carlot was able to reach 3rd. Anthony Boix reached first on a walk, which advanced Guida to second. With bases loaded, David Lindsey was up to bat. He grounded out to second but allowed Carlot to score, and Guida and Boix to advance. Ryan Santos hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Guida and advance Boix. Smith was back up to bat and was walked, then stole second. A balk by Shorter's pitcher scored Boix and advanced Smith to third. Gaskill reached first on a walk, and then Branca ended the half of the inning with a ground out to third. Shorter had one hit and no runs in the second inning.
In the third inning, Shorter now as their 3rd pitcher for the game, which caused trouble for the Bulldogs with three up and three down quickly. Shorter came back in the bottom of the 3rd with three hits and three runs to leave the Bulldogs down by 5-4.
Shorter subs in their 4th pitcher of the game, which again gives the Bulldogs trouble with Boix grounding out to second, Lindsey grounding out to third, and Santos striking out. Brady Frey, a junior transfer, replaces McCracken at the mound strikes out the first batter. Second batter for Shorter is walked and then a double play by Guida, Bergin, and Branca ends the inning.
Shorter replaces the pitcher once again. Cody Gaskill hit a home run over the left field fence to tie the game until the bottom of the 5th. Drew Housewright goes in to pitch for the Bulldogs and gives up 4 hits and 2 runs.
The top of the 6th starts off the same way as the other five innings with a new pitcher for Shorter. The Bulldogs are 3 up and 3 down to remain trailing by 2. Corey Collins, junior from Whitehouse, TN, replaces Housewright and holds Shorter to no runs in the 6th.
The Bulldogs had one hit by Smith in the 7th but were unable to score. Noah Piard came in to pitch the seventh inning. He struck out the first batter, but then the next batter singled. The following two batter struck out and flied out to center respectively.
Shorter put in their 8th pitcher of the game who struck out Bergin. Carlot grounded out to short, but Guida got a single to keep the Bulldogs alive. Boix singled to center advancing Guida to second, but Lindsey grounded out to the pitcher's mound to end the half of the inning. Piard gave up to hits and hit a batter but was able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs.
With a new pitcher at the mound for the 9th inning, Shorter hoped for win. Santos and Smith both singled and then Gaskill reached first on a fielder's choice, forcing Santos out. Branca reached base on a misplayed grounder which left the bases loaded. Bergin was up to bat and grounded into a double play which ended the game. Bulldogs lost 7-5 to Shorter.
Johnny Smith had two hits, while Gaskill, Guida, Boix, and Santos each had one. Gaskill, Branca, Lindsay, and Santos each had one RBI.
Matt McCracken pitched 3 innings giving up 7 hits and 4 earned runs. Drew Housewright pitched one inning giving up 4 hits and two earned runs. Brady Frey pitched one inning and Corey Collins had one inning at the mound. Noah Piard pitched the final two inning giving up 3 hits and no runs.
The Bulldogs have their home opener this weekend playing Shawnee State. They play a single 9 inning game on Friday at 2:00 pm and then a double header on Saturday at 12:00 pm.