DAYTON, Tenn. – Baseball notched a 7-4 victory in during game two of the doubleheader with Madonna Friday afternoon, picking up its first win of the young 2014 season in the process. The win came after the Bears (1-4) suffered a 6-3 setback against the Crusaders (1-1) in the opening game of the doubleheaders which were each played as seven inning contests.
The Bears would get on the board right away in the top of the first during the opening game. After a double play erased a leadoff single, Todd Queener walked and stole second to keep the inning alive. Mason Wisner would get a two-out single that would have put runners on first and third if not for an errant throw from Madonna's shortstop that allowed Queener to score.
Cody Strayer got the ball for the Bears in the opening game of the seven inning doubleheader. He would unconventionally retire the side in order in the first. After striking out the Crusaders' leadoff hitter, he allowed a walk before picking that runner off of first base. He then got the third out on an infield pop to short. However, Madonna would take the lead in the second inning. A leadoff walk and single would eventually come around to score after a one out throwing error scored the leadoff base. The Crusaders took the lead after an RBI groundout.
The Bears loaded the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch in the third inning but Madonna starter Dan Stoney would still strike out the side around his wildness to strand the three Bear runners. In the top of the fourth, Nolan West brought the game back to even with a leadoff home run, the first of his career, knotting the score at 2-2.
Madonna answered right back with two runs in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. The Crusaders' first run of the fourth inning came after a leadoff single that was followed by a one out double. Later in that inning, Madonna would pull off a double steal with runners and the corners and two down, making the score 4-2 after four innings. The Crusaders used a long ball from Shane Dokey in the bottom of the fifth to open that inning's scoring off of the SSU bullpen. The second run of the fifth scored after a one out walk touched home following a two-out error, putting Madonna up 6-2 after five innings.
Playing a shortened seven inning game, Brandon Blackwelder led off the final frame with a double. The Bears would get one run in the seventh on a pinch-hit single by Jake Cain in the following at-bat to cut the deficit to 6-3. However, Madonna got the next two SSU hitters to fly out to put them just one out away. Queener singled to keep the game alive but a final fly out to center sealed the Crusaders' 6-3 win.
With Shawnee State batting second in game two, the Bears again got on the scoreboard first after back-to-back singles by Dalton Tinsley and Ryan Queener started the bottom half of the frame. Wisner then drove in the first run of the game with a one out single to put his team up 1-0.
The Bears used patience at the plate to add on three more runs in the bottom of the second. Daniel Katayama and Brady Hightchew worked back-to-back walks to start the inning before a bunt from Brady Page was misplayed and loaded the bases. Tinsley would then reach on a walk to force in a run, while Ryan Queener recorded an RBI groundout to make it 3-0. The Bears added their final run of the inning on a throwing error by the catcher as he tried to catch a runner stealing second with Bears on the corners.
Madonna got on the board for the first time in game two with a run in the top of the third inning and backed that up with a run in the fourth inning. The Bears responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth.
Blackwelder got the frame started with a leadoff walk. Mitchell Lendenski, who came on to run for Blackwelder, scored on an RBI double from Katayama for the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Page drove home Katayama with a two out RBI double, making the score 6-2 after the fifth inning. The Bears' scoring in the sixth inning again started with Blackwell as he singled with two outs. Lendenski again came in to run and he would score on an RBI double from West to make it 7-2 heading into the final inning.
Madonna would get two of those back in its final at-bats before Derek Moore closed the door on his complete game victory. A throwing error in the infield, the only error committed by the Bears during the second game, allowed the inning to stay alive and put runners on second and third with two outs. The next batter would make that error hurt with a two-run single but was caught stealing during the next at-bat for the final out of the contest.
Moore picked up his first collegiate win with the complete game effort. He allowed six hits with just two of the four runs he allowed being earned. He also struck out six batters, walking just one hitter. The SSU offense was a very balanced effort in game two as eight of the nine starters recorded a hit. However, Page was the only Bear to finish with multiple hits in the contest. Six different players scored a run in the game, while Ryan Queener and Katayama each finished with two runs to go along with their RBI.
Baseball will take to the diamond again tomorrow against host Bryan College. That doubleheader to wrap up the four-game weekend will begin at 3 p.m.