Behind shutout pitching performances from Pat Lemmo and Jimmy Wagner, the Ithaca College baseball team beat Stevens Institute of Technology 4-0 and 3-0 in a doubleheader at Freeman Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bombers improve to 16-4 on the season.
Lemmo started on the mound and picked up the win for the Blue and Gold in the first game by pitching a complete game shutout. He allowed just two hits over seven innings of work and struck out nine Ducks without walking a batter.
“He was really in control all the way,” Ithaca College Head Coach George Valesente said of Lemmo. “He hit spots with his fastball and got his breaking ball over the plate when he needed to and really had the hitters off balance.
For the Bombers, the first game was about more than just the strong pitching performance. The offense was also productive, stringing together four runs on nine hits.
Left fielder Andrew Turner said the solid offensive execution stemmed from the team’s increased aggressiveness at the plate.
“We tried to be more aggressive today,” Turner said. “We were especially working on not letting the first pitch fastball go.”
That mentality worked for the Bombers, as they scored in the first inning when Tim Henry singled in Tim Locastro. The Blue and Gold went on to score a run in the second inning, and then used a two-run fifth inning to secure the win.
The second game was similar to the first. After Wagner pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, the Bombers put two runs on the scoreboard thanks to a Corey Caswell double that scored Henry and Christian Brown.
Those two runs were all that the Bombers would need to beat the Ducks, as Wagner pitched six innings of two-hit baseball. Junior David Jasukonis picked up the save in the seventh inning.
Valesente said that he was pleased with Wagner’s performance, though he struggled a bit in the later innings.
“He seemed to tire around the fifth inning and I think it was because he works so hard on each pitch, he doesn’t know how to pace himself,” Valesente said. “Consequently he runs out of gas and gets fatigued. He had good stuff and had them in his hands for about four innings.”
Lemmo spoke highly of the Bomber defense after the game. The Blue and Gold only had one fielding error throughout both games. Lemmo said this was huge because it gave him confidence as a pitcher.
“If you can’t rely on your defense as a pitcher, then you can’t throw the same pitches, and it’s going to put more pressure on you,” Lemmo said. “I’m not usually a strike-outs guy and I love having good defense behind me.”
The Bombers have another doubleheader against Stevens on Sunday. Lemmo said that though a sweep will be difficult, it is definitely doable for the Bombers, who are currently on a 12-game winning streak.
“To take four games from a team in one weekend is a pretty tough feat, but I think it’s definitely possible if we play our game and do everything we’ve been working on in practice,” Lemmo said.