LEBANON, Tenn. – Baseball got another solid effort from freshman Derek Moore (FR, Wheelersburg, Ohio) as he tossed a complete game four-hitter on Friday afternoon. Coupled with the Bears (12-9, 4-0 MSC) scratching across a run in the top of the ninth, Shawnee State claimed a 2-1 victory in the opening game of the three-game set against No. 10 Cumberland (13-6, 2-2 MSC).
The Bulldogs got on the board first with a solo home run off the bat of Justin Byrd in the bottom half of the first inning. That hit would be the only base runner Moore allowed over the first four innings. However, Cumberland Starter Anthony Gomez would hold the Shawnee State offense at bay early on, allowing just two singles and a walk as the only earned base runners in the first four innings.
Shawnee State finally got to Gomez in the top of the fifth. After two outs, Dustin Bickmeyer (SR, O'Fallon, Mo.) started the inning with a single to right field. Mitchell Lendenski (SO, Loveland, Ohio) would come on to run for Bickmeyer and he promptly swiped second and third base during the same at-bat. After watching three straight balls go by to start the at-bat, Brady Page (JR, Las Vegas, Nev.) took a pair of called strikes and fouled off the first payoff pitch. Page then took his next pitch into centerfield to knot the game at 1-1.
Neither team would threaten until the top of the eighth when a two-out error and walk put two aboard for the Bears but Gomez would escape unharmed. The Bears would also work around an error in the bottom half of the inning and headed to the ninth inning still tied at 1-all.
With one out, Ryan Queener (SR, Mentor, Ohio) got the Bears started with a walk. Dalton Tinsley (JR, Kokomo, Ind.) followed that at-bat up with a single to put runners on the corners with one away. Tinsley would take second during the next at-bat and Bulldogs would walk Brady Hightchew (SO, Newport, Ky.) to load the bases and set up a force at every base.
With the bases loaded and one down, Cumberland went to the bullpen and Stevie Smith. With the pitching change, Shawnee State sent Jake Cain (SO, Cold Spring, Ky.) up to pinch-hit. Coming off the bench cold, Cain singled into left field on a 3-1 pitch to put the Bears up for the first time all day, 2-1. A strikeout and groundout would end the Bears threat.
However, that one additional run would be all the support that Moore needed as he induced fly outs to each of the three outfield positions in the bottom half of the ninth to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season. The complete game effort was his fourth in six starts this season. Moore struck out six, while issuing no walks in the contest.
Baseball will be back in action tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader against Cumberland that will begin at noon EST (11 a.m. CST).