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Bison Club Baseball Defeats American University in Inaugural Matchup

Howard University’s club baseball team impresses in their first matchup of the season, signaling a promising start for the team’s NCAA journey.

Justin Smith takes a swing across home plate. Photo by Badi Cross.

Howard University’s Club Baseball team made a statement in their season opener, securing a commanding 10-0 victory over the American University Eagles. The Bison’s performance triggered an early conclusion to the game, invoking the mercy rule in the sixth inning.

Kevin Barrow, freshman pitcher from Wilmington, Delaware, stood tall as the pitcher on the mound for the Bison set to deliver his first collegiate pitch against the Eagles’ leadoff hitter, Brendan Crowley. 

Barrow didn’t shy away from the challenge posed by the batter. He showcased his pitch control by launching a strike into the bottom left corner of the plate. Seizing an early advantage in ‘the count’ was crucial, and Barrow pressed on. In just three pitches, he swiftly dispatched Crowley, securing his first strikeout and the first of the contest.

The matchup against the lead-off hitter foreshadowed the night that Barrow would have on the mound, striking out all of the batters in that inning on his way to a ten-strikeout performance. Along with his ten strikeouts, Barrow limited the opposing team to just two hits, all while keeping the scoreboard clean, pitching a shutout in his collegiate start. 

Even as a freshman, Barrow had very little doubt about his ability to perform. 

“I came into it with my teammates, they give me the confidence to perform as long as they put runs on the board I know they’re behind me. I’m only worried about getting the ball across the plate,” Barrow said.

Barrow’s teammates were more than able to help him get the runs across the board. After a ground ball down the first baseline on the first pitch, it was senior outfielder and club president  Julian Lee’s single that gave Howard their first hit of the season.

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The third batter in the order grounded out, bringing on senior first baseman Max Curry. Curry fell behind in the count early, down two strikes he took his final swing to knock the ball into deep left center, with the ball landing right before the Eagles outfielders could claim it. 

Lee dashed all the way home, crossing the plate to notch the first run of the game, while Curry rounded the bases to land safely on third, starting his season with an impressive triple.

“I saw the cookie and knew it was coming down the middle so all I could think was ‘go yard,’” Curry said in reaction to his triple. 

This game marked Curry’s return to the plate for the first time since high school. He went two for three at bat, with a triple and a single, resulting in two runs batted in (RBI). Not only did Curry emphasize his batting skills, but he highlighted his abilities in the field, stealing one base and scoring a run himself.

“This was my first time playing since my junior year in high school because I didn’t get a senior year of baseball due to COVID. All of this was really just nostalgic for me,” Curry said. 

Entering the NCAA after a period within the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA), the Howard club baseball team is eager to showcase their talents to the Howard community and beyond. 

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“Baseball at Howard is going to get more exposure,” said junior outfielder Justin Smith to The Hilltop.

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell


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