Posted: Mar 22, 2013 5:15 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2013 9:59 PM
FULTON, MO -- The William Woods baseball team was swept on the road by second place Missouri Baptist, dropping game one 4-0 and game two 5-4, ending the teams' four game winning streak.
In game one, it was a match-up of the two best starters for each team, as the Owls trotted out Adam Brush, while Missouri Baptist put Ethan Gibbons on the hill. The Spartans struck early in the home half of the first, as after Brush retired the first two batters on two pitches, Joseph Taylor of MBU reached base on a walk.
Then, Taylor was able to advance to third on a wild throw from Brush, putting the Spartans in scoring position with two down. #4 hitter Ryan Gunhouse capitalized on the Owls mistake, singling to third, scoring Taylor and giving MBU a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The Spartans broke it open in the third inning, as Ryan Clarke and Patrick Johnson led the inning off with back-to-back walks. After a groundout by Pier Olivier-Dostaler, that scored Clarke, extending the lead to 2-0, Joseph Taylor put the Owls well behind, hitting a two-run homer over the right field wall, pushing the advantage to 4-0 after three innings of play.
The Owls had their chances, starting with the bases loaded in the fifth, however, Jacob Harrison grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play ending the threat. The team couldn't get much going against starter Gibbons, as he was able to close the door on William Woods the rest of the way, winning by four.
Brush did not have his best game against the Spartans, as even though he limited the Spartans to four hits, he had six walks on the day and just two strikeouts. The Owls totaled eight hits on the afternoon, led by Greg Hamrock and Zach Nichols each having two hits. Eilert Meyers, Matt Thomas, Jordan Thompson and Stephen Kohler added one hit a piece.
In game two, the Owls were the first team on the board taking a 1-0 lead, getting an RBI single from Meyers, scoring Matt Thomas who led off the inning with a single. Hurler Dane Smith continued his shut-out streak, keeping the Spartan bats quiet until the bottom of the fifth, which is when things got away from William Woods.
MBU scored five runs on seven hits, capped off by Taylor hitting his second home run in as many games, this time a three run shot to right, giving the Spartans a 5-1 lead. Smith would get one more out in the sixth, before being relieved for Bubba Bradshaw.
In the top of the seventh, the Owls answered back scoring three runs on two hits and were helped out by two MBU errors. Greg Hamrock cut the lead down to 5-2, hitting a single to Damon Adrian and then Matt Thomas came to the dish and ripped a double to center, scoring two and after seven innings of play, WWU was down just 5-4 now.
Jacob Harrison got the team started off on the right foot with an infield single in the top of the ninth, and with the 3-4-5 batters coming up, the Owls looked to tie or take the lead. Nichols was up next and he reached base on a fielder's choice, as Harrison was out at second.
Thomas came to the plate next and at the time he was 4-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI, he like Nichols, also grounded into a fielder's choice and Nichols was out at second. Ryan Schuermann came in to pinch-run for Thomas, however, catcher Joe Stropp caught Schuermann off to far from first and was able to pick him off, ending the game, as the Spartans held on for the one run victory.
The Owls totaled nine hits on the afternoon, four of which came from right fielder Thomas. Harrison added two hits of his own, while Hamrock, Meyers and Kyle Switzer added one a piece. Beside the fifth inning giving up five runs on seven hits, Smith had kept the Spartans down on offense allowing only three hits up until that point.
The 1-2-3 hitters of Patrick Johnson, Olivier-Dostaler and Taylor combined to go 5-for-14, with three runs scored and five RBI. Julien Soucy got the win for MBU, going six innings, allowing just one run on six hits and striking out four.
The teams' record falls to (9-9 overall; 5-3 AMC) and will look to get Friday's games back Saturday at Missouri Baptist. First-pitch on Saturday will start at 12:00 p.m.