Owls Sweep To 3-1 Series Win Over Hannibal-LaGrange
FULTON, Mo. -- The William Woods University baseball team took two different approaches in its wins on Monday night, surrendering a four-run lead before picking up a 5-4 walkoff win in the opener and rolling to an easy 7-0 win in the nightcap over Hannibal-LaGrange University. Adam Brush recorded a one-hit shutout in the series finale to move to 3-1 on the year, while Jacob Harrison (Fulton, Mo.) was 4-for-8 with 2 RBI in the doubleheader. As a team, the Owls racked 12 hits in each contest.
The Owls took a while to get going in the opener, stranding runners at first and second in the bottom of the first and managing to push just one run across in the bottom of the second, with a two-out rally scoring Damon Adrian (Mary's Home, Mo.) who was on as a courtesy runner for Kyle Switzer (Columbus, Ga.).
In the bottom of the third, however, William Woods found a bit of pop in the bats, with Derek McCawley (Phoenix, Ariz.) opening the inning with a one-out single up the middle. After Robert Butvin (Mantua, Ohio) reached base in his 15th straight game with a walk, Derek Fletcher (Moberly, Mo.) struck out. The Owls weren't done in the inning though, as Blake Wilson (Cairo, Mo.) singled to load the bases, with a single from Switzer plating both McCawley and Butvin. Justin Elmore (Blanchard, Okla.) reloaded the bases with a perfect bunt single, with a wild pitch from Stephen Schneiders allowing Wilson to score easily. Jordan Thompson (Desloge, Mo.) ended the inning for the Owls, however, as his curling shot was snagged by the Hannibal-LaGrange second baseman.
The Trojans pulled one run back in the top of the fourth, as Clint Hamilton connected on a solo shot to left center, and cut the gap to two with another run in the top of the sixth, as Matt Thomas (Brashear, Mo.) lost the handle on a pitch as he was on in relief.
Hannibal-LaGrange pushed two runs across in the top of the second to level the game at 4-4. After seeing its lead cut to 4-3, WWU opted to intentionally walk Ian Sikes to load the bases. Thad McVeigh hit a grounder to Wilson, and although the Owl shortstop wasn't initially able to get a handle on the ball - allowing one Trojan to score - he was able to recover and catch an overly aggressive Blake Zurleine in a rundown, firing to Switzer, who found Harrison for the tag as Zurliene dove back into third.
With runners on first and second with two out, Elmore drew a walk on four straight pitches to set the stage for Thompson, who sent an 0-2 pitch right back up the middle to score Ryan Schuermann (Ashland, Mo.), who was on as a pinch runner for Butvin, and end the game.
The Owls made much quicker work of the second contest, as Brian Carr (Phoenix, Ariz.) opened the scoring in the first with a solo shot to left center, followed by a pair of runs in the second - on a single from Harrison and a failed pickoff attempt to third by Denys Delgado - and a trio of runs in the third.
Brush settled into the groove after the second inning, allowing just three baserunners and striking out six (eight for the game) over the next five innings.
The Owls are back in action this weekend as they remain in conference play, taking on Harris-Stowe State University. The four-game road series is set for a 1 p.m. Saturday start, postponed one day from the originally-scheduled date. It is the second schedule change of the week for WWU, as the doubleheader originally slated for Tuesday at Missouri Southern State University has been canceled due to inclement weather in Joplin, Mo.