Bulldogs shift gears with clutch hits

Harlem 11, Aquinas 3

HARLEM — After two tough losses to start its season, Harlem got what it was looking for Thursday night against Aquinas.

The Bulldogs got clutch hitting, scoring eight runs with two outs, and took advantage of Fighting Irish miscues to win 11-3.

“We hit the ball well, played pretty good defense.” said Bulldogs head coach Jimmie Lewis. “We needed a win bad. We needed a little confidence. Player confidence and coaching confidence.”

While the Bulldogs had 14 hits against a pair of Aquinas pitchers, Collin Beasley and Alex Thompson limited the Fighting Irish (0-2) to its three runs on only two hits.

The Fighting Irish didn’t help their cause, committing five errors. They had four in the fourth inning as the Bulldogs turned a 4-2 lead into a 9-2 advantage while batting around.

“Wilfredo (Colon-Rios) pitched great and gave us exactly what we have to have,” Aquinas head coach Mike Laney said of his starter. “Tonight the defense let him down.”

Colon-Rios lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits while striking out six.

Bulldogs catcher Devin Critell had two, two-out hits and finished with three hits and four RBI. Aaron Moore also had three hits while Hunter Rippe was 2 for 2.

Beasley, a junior starting his first game after missing the past two years with injuries, kept the Fighting Irish off balance with a sharp-breaking curveball he was able to throw consistently for strikes. He came out after four innings, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out five. Thompson finished the final three innings, also striking out five.

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