Brush Gives Solid Performance as Owls Sweep Williams Baptist
FULTON, MO -- Closing out the American Midwest Conference portion of the slate on Saturday, the William Woods University baseball team put both games out of reach early, scoring five runs in the first inning of each game en route to 7-1 and 8-1 wins over Williams Baptist College. Three Owls pitchers combined in the first game to scatter four hits with Jon Hecht taking the win to move to 2-3, while Adam Brush bolstered his case for all-conference honors with 13 strikeouts in the series finale for his eighth win of the campaign.
Williams Baptist opened the scoring in game one, as Ivan Tate reached on a leadoff walk, with a one-out double from Kendall Fay pushing tate across, but a great throw from Brian Carr in center allowed the Owls to get Fay at third. The Eagles drew another walk, but Hecht got out of the inning, collecting a comebacker and tossing to Derek McCawley at first.
The Owls blasted out of the gates with abandon in game one, chasing the WBC starter from the game quickly. Derek Fletcher and Jacob Harrison were each hit by a pitch, with Carr putting down a perfect bunt to load the bases. McCawley drew an RBI walk, with a single from Matt Thomas pushing Harrison across. With the bases still loaded, a walk to Robert Butvin scored Carr and closed the book on Alex Markum. Blake Wilson grounding into a double-play at short but earned an RBI for the effort, with a single from Austin Clapp plating Thomas for the final run of the inning.
The Owls added another run in the bottom of the third and a solid defensive play got WWU out of trouble in the top of the fourth. After allowing a leadoff walk followed by a single, the Owls turned a double play as Wilson was able to make a diving grab on a grounder by Blake Coffman, tossing to Harrison with the relay to McCawley.
As spectacular as that double play was, it was no match for the play turned by Andrew Pointer in the top of the fifth. After coming on in relief for Hecht, Pointer gave up a looping single to right to Ivan Tate. Devante Neal smoked a 0-1 pitch towards short, but Pointer recovered from his follow-through and leapt to make the back-handed grab for the first out, and leisurely tossed the ball to first to catch Tate - who was almost to second - for the double play.
Kyle Muzechka came on to close out the game for the Owls, working himself out of a jam with a strikeout to end the game.
The Owls posted five runs in the bottom of the first in game two as well, although WWU needed to do more of its own work in this frame. Fletcher led off with a single to third, one of six hits for WWU in the inning.
Brush was overpowering throughout the second game, scattering four hits and one walk through seven innings of work, with the shutout spoiled only by an unearned run in the seventh.
William Woods moves to 31-17 (14-10 AMC) and will close out the regular season portion of the schedule on Tuesday. WWU finishes in third place in the league standings, behind Park University and Missouri Baptist University. The Owls will host McKendree University and Culver-Stockton College in a pair of nine-inning games, with first pitch for the game against the Bearcats set for 4 p.m. CSC and WWU will tee it off at 7:30 p.m. in the nightcap.
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