PORTSMOUTH – Baseball evened its season record at 6-6 with a sweep Saturday afternoon. The Bears notched a 9-0 victory over Baldwin-Wallace behind a three-hit shutout from freshman Derek Moore (his second straight shutout). The Bears then downed Concordia (Mich.) by a final of 15-4. Today's second game was also the 1,000th game in the history of Shawnee State baseball. For those of you that are counting, the Bears now sit at 549-448-3 all-time, dating back to their inaugural season in 1992 under then head coach Al Oliver.
In the opening game against Baldwin-Wallace, the two sides were unable to break onto the scoreboard in the first two and a half innings. Shawnee State would finally get a much-needed offensive spark in the bottom of the third. Brady Page (3-for-4 in game one) led off the inning with a double. The Yellow Jackets retired the next two batters but the Bears scored three two-out runs. Todd Queener doubled home the game's first run. Nolan West then scored him with a single. Mason Wisner made it three straight two-out hits with another single. Daniel Katayama was then hit by pitch to load the bases before a walk to Dustin Bickmeyer forced in the third and final run of the inning.
Moore retired the side in order for the first time in the game in the top of the fourth, while the Bears added two more runs in the bottom half. Page again started the scoring with a leadoff single. Dalton Tinsley tripled home the first run and scored on a sacrifice fly from Brandon Blackwelder to make it 5-0 after four full innings.
The Bears added their final four runs of the day in the fifth inning. A one-out single from Katayama, walk to Bickmeyer, and single from Brady Hightchew loaded the bases. This time, Page singled home a run. After a strikeout, Blackwelder kept the inning alive with a walk to force home a run. Queener doubled home the final two runs of the game to make a 9-0 score that would hold up as the final.
Moore picked up his third win of the season as he went the full scheduled seven innings. He allowed just three hits in the early game and walked a pair, while striking out four batters. Page finished the game with three runs and an RBI, while Queener drove in three runs on two hits. Katayama also had two hits to go along with a run.
After a break while Concordia and Baldwin-Wallace played, the Bears used three runs in the second inning to jump out early and continued to build on that lead throughout the game. Blake Maines led off the second inning of game two with a single and came around to score on an RBI hit from Katayama. Katayama then scored on an RBI double from Ryan Queener, who later scored on an error. The Cardinals scored their first run in the top of the third but another RBI hit from Ryan Queener in the bottom half of that inning made it 4-1.
Shawnee State's biggest inning of the game, and day, came in the fourth when they blew the game open with a six-run frame. West delivered the first big blast with a two-run home run that scored Todd Queener who singled with one out. A walk to Maines and single by Katayama then set the table for Ryan Queener's third RBI hit of the afternoon. Hightchew followed that up with a two-run double. Tinsley finished the frame off with another extra base hit as his RBI double made it 10-1 after four innings.
The Cardinals would get three of those runs back in the top of the fifth, but SSU answered back and then some with four runs in the bottom half. A single from Maines and walk to Katayama set the table with nobody out. Hightchew singled home two more runs to give him four RBI for the second game. The Bears again loaded the bases and this time, before Todd Queener and West each drew walks that forced in runs to make it 14-4. Concordia would add a run on in its final at-bats to make it a 14-5 final.
Zak Esposito got the win for the Bears as he went five innings, allowing five hits and four runs. He also struck out four batters. Brandon Bonar and Steven Easterling each pitched an inning of relief.
Baseball will be back at Branch Rickey Park tomorrow for a doubleheader with Concordia. First pitch on Sunday is set for noon.