WALESKA, Ga. – After outhitting Reinhardt in both of its games yesterday, the host Eagles broke out offensively with 15 hits Monday to win the weekend series with an 8-2 victory over the Shawnee State baseball team Monday afternoon. The Bears (4-6) will look to bounce back this upcoming weekend as they host both Baldwin-Wallace and Concordia (Mich.) this Saturday and Sunday.
After a scoreless first inning for both sides, Reinhardt scored in the second, third and fourth innings to jump out to a 5-0 lead before the Bears could get any offense going. The Eagles got on the scoreboard first when a leadoff hit by pitch came around to score on a sacrifice fly later in the second inning. In the next inning, Reinhardt's first three hitters each singled to load the bases. After Shawnee State starter Cody Strayer got the next batter to go down swinging, Reinhardt got another sacrifice fly followed by the fourth single of the inning, making it 3-0 after three full innings.
The bottom of the fourth inning would follow as similar pattern as the previous frame. Two singles, along with a hit by pitch loaded the bases before the Eagles' third sacrifice fly of the game made it 4-0. The first of two SSU errors in that inning made it 5-0 after the fourth.
The Bears finally got to Reinhardt starter Bobby Gazzola in the top of the sixth inning. Brady Hightchew led off that inning with a single back through the middle. With two outs, Hightchew moved into scoring position on a passed ball and came around to score on an RBI double from Blake Maines. Nolan West added the Bears' second run of the game as he knocked his second home run of the season over the right field fence to lead off the top of the seventh inning.
With the score 5-2 after West's second home run of the season, Reinhardt added three more insurance runs by scoring once in the seventh and two more times in the eighth to come away with the 8-2 victory.
Gazzola ended up going eight innings, allowing five hits while striking out 10 Shawnee State hitters before giving way to Luke Cathcart. Cathcart would strike out two more hitters during his perfect ninth inning.
After hitting the road during the first three weekends of the season, baseball will be at home this Saturday and Sunday. The home opener is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday against Baldwin-Wallace. The Bears will also play Concordia (Mich.) in a 4 p.m. game. In between those two games, Baldwin-Wallace and Concordia will play a single game at 1 p.m. inside Branch Rickey Park. Concordia will then stay over on Sunday to play a doubleheader at Branch Rickey beginning at noon.