MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The Bridgewater State University baseball team opened the 2022 season with a doubleheader split against Hilbert College on Saturday evening at the Ripken Experience Complex in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The Bears (1-1) won the first game, 16-3, while the Hawks (1-1) earned the split with a 3-2 victory in the nightcap.
Senior righthander David Kerns (East Cambridge, Mass.) tossed six strong innings and the Bears banged out 15 hits in the opener. Bridgewater used a nine-run sixth inning to turn the contest into a 16-3 rout.
Kerns (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Junior third baseman Joey Molis (Cumberland, R.I.) went 3-for-4 including his first collegiate home run to pace the BSU offensive. Molis, who also walked and scored four runs, belted a three-run blast over the rightfield fence in the top of the fourth to give Bridgewater a 5-2 lead.
After tacking on a run in the fifth, the Bears sent 14 batters to the plate in the nine-run sixth to pull ahead 15-2. Sophomore shortstop Kevin Lindsay (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and junior centerfielder Sean Goudey (Weymouth, Mass.) each rapped two-run doubles in the frame while sophomore rightfielder Jay Wladkowski (Norwood, Mass.), junior first baseman Dan Saraceno (Mansfield, Mass.) and sophomore designated hitter Kyle Suraci (Clinton, Conn.) each added RBI singles.
The two teams exchanged runs in the seventh to round out the scoring.
Suraci (2-4, BB, R, 2RBI), Wladkowski (2-5, R, 2RBI) and Lindsay (2-5, 2B, 2R, 2RBI) finished with two hits apiece in the opener, as did freshman second baseman Scott Emerson (Peabody, Mass.) and sophomore catcher Mathew Pigeon (Canton, Mass.). Emerson went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored in his collegiate debut, while Pigeon was 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk and run.
A three-run first inning home run by junior third baseman Patrick Whelan (Buffalo, N.Y.) backed a solid pitching performance from freshman righthander Camerin Holmes (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) as Hilbert earned the split with a 3-2 win in game two of the twinbill.
Homes (1-0) went the distance in his collegiate debut allowing two unearned on four hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts.
The first three batters of the game reached for the Hawks with Whelan cracking a three-run blast over the centerfield fence.
BSU graduate righthander Matt Josselyn (Hanson, Mass.) settled down after that and did not give up another hit as he retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced. Josselyn (0-1) gave up three runs (two earned) on just two hits over five innings with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Bears got on the board with an unearned run in the third as Goudey reached second on a misplayed pop up, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
Bridgewater cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth on Wladkowksi's RBI double. Sophomore leftfielder Joe Frechette (Plymouth, Mass.) led off the frame with a two-bagger but was doubled off second when Molis lined out to shortstop. After Saraceno reached second on a dropped a fly ball, Suraci walked to put two runners on with two outs. Wladkowski then lined a double into left field to plate Saraceno and make it a one-run game. Holmes, however, avoided any further damage by fanning the next battter.
Holmes retired the side in order in the seventh, including a pair of strikeouts, to put the the finishing touches on the complete game victory.
Saraceno and Wladkowski each went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk to pace the BSU offense in game two.
Bridgewater State's trip to Myrtle Beach continues on Sunday when the Bears take on Manhattanville College at noon.