William Woods Splits Series with Hannibal-LaGrange
FULTON, MO -- The William Woods baseball team was able to earn their first conference win defeating Hannibal-LaGrange in game one 5-1, however, the team blew a seven run lead in game two, falling 11-10.
In game one, the Trojans were able to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to an RBI from catcher Ian Sikes. After that, the game turned into a pitching battle between Stephen Schnieders of the Trojans and Adam Brush of William Woods.
Brush threw seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits and striking out four. Schnieders was shutting down the Owls offense, until the seventh inning. WWU finally got things going in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs (four earned), to take a 5-1 lead. Brush was able to shut down the Trojans in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
In the top of the seventh, the Owls got RBI from Jordan Thompson, Jacob Harrsion, Greg Hamrock and Derek Fletcher. Only Stephen Kohler was the only player to have at least two hits. Travis Mundahl was the lone HLG hitter to have two hits.
The Owls looked for the sweep in game two and after the top half of the first inning, the team was up 3-0 with RBI from Eilert Meyers and Kyle Switzer. After the Trojans were able to cut the lead down to 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning, HLG was able to add another run in the bottom of the third.
Andrew Pollard got things going with a single and after a hit-by-pitch by Clint Hamilton, Mundahl advanced both runners over to second and third with a sacrifice. Ian Sikes was intentionally walked to load the bases for Keaten Baker. Hurler Dane Smith was able to focus in on Baker and strike him out looking, getting a big second out.
Drew Morecraft stepped to the plate next and hit a grounder to Zach Nichols, however, he made an error which allowed Pollard to score, making the score 3-2 after three innings. The Owls were able to expand their lead in the fourth, as Derek Fletcher got things going with a leadoff double.
After a line-out by Switzer, Fletcher was able to score on a Kohler single, pushing the lead back up to 4-2. The team wasn't done there, as Justin Elmore came up next and singled, putting runners on first and second. Hamrock continued his hot hitting, singling to right field scoring Kohler, making it 5-2 and before the inning was over, Harrison extended the lead to 6-2 with yet another single, putting the team in great position.
The Trojans scored one run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 6-3, however, an RBI from Kohler, a single by Justin Elmore and a passed ball that scored Damon Adrian, made it 9-3 William Woods. A Meyers single in the top of the sixth, put the team up 10-3 and in very good shape.
After two more runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the seventh, the Owls still were up 10-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, which is when things started to get exciting. Blake Zurliene started things off with a single and after a strike-out, Zurliene was able to advance to second on a base hit by Pollard.
Hamilton hit the third single in the inning, scoring Zurliene, making the score 10-6 with runners on first and second with one out. Then Mundahl was hit by a pitch by Kyle Wierenga , loading up the bases for Ian Sikes.
The catcher ripped a double to left, scoring Pollard and Hamilton, making the score 10-8 with one out still and the tying run on second base. Matt Thomas came on in relief and walked Keaton Baker loading the bases yet again.
Drew Morecraft came to the plate and hit a single to left, scoring two runs and what turned out to be a seven run lead for the Owls, had disappeared and now the game was all square at 10-10. With runners on second and third, Thad McVeigh was intentionally walked which brought up Zurliene for the second time in the inning. This time around, Thomas got Zurliene to line out to short, getting the second out of the inning, however, the bases stayed loaded.
Derrick Shawn walked to the plate looking to be the hero, while Matt Thomas looked to get the Owls out of the jam and force extra innings. After a battle at the plate, Thomas walked Shawn, scoring the game winning run and the Owls lost a heartbreaker 11-10.
Hamrock led the way for the Owls, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Meyers and Kohler each led the team in RBI with two, while Harrison, Mike Vinnitsky, Switzer and Elmore each added one RBI. Hamilton and Sikes each led the Trojans with a combined four runs batted in.
The teams' record falls to 5-7 (1-1 American Midwest Conference) on the season, but will look for redemption Saturday against Hannibal-LaGrange in another double-header. Game one is set to start at 1:00 p.m.