WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Baseball picked up a 5-2 win in game two Saturday against the University of the Cumberlands as the Bears (17-15, 7-5 MSC) salvaged one of the three games in the weekend series with the Patriots (17-12, 4-8 MSC). Two big innings for the Cumberlands provided basically all of its offense in the opening game, while the Bears got a complete game victory from Cody Strayer (SO/Worthington, Ohio) in the 5-2 win to close out the weekend set.
Shawnee State jumped out early in the opening game as the Bears scored a run on an RBI single from Dan Katayama in the top of the first. Todd Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) then blasted a solo home run in the top of the third to put his team up 2-0.
Things really appeared to be going the way of the Bears after the top of the fourth when SSU added another four runs to the line score. Blake Maines (FR/Burlington, Ky.) started the rally with a two-out infield single. Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.) brought home the first run of the contest with an RBI double. An error during the next at-bat would keep the inning alive and the Bears made that mistake hurt as Brady Page (JR/Las Vegas, Nev.) singled home two more runs, while Queener capped the scoring with an RBI triple as the Bears plated three unearned runs.
Trailing 6-0 after the top of the fourth, the Patriots got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. UC busted through offensively with six runs on five hits and two SSU errors in the bottom of the fifth and suddenly found themselves leading 7-6.
Queener drove in his third run of the game with a two-out RBI single in the top of the sixth, but the Patriots put another crocked number on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. The Bears should have been out of the inning with no damage done but untimely errors, coupled with three hits, two walks and a hit by pitch spelled five more UC runs.
Shawnee State threatened in the top of the eighth by loading the bases and Queener worked a walk to force in an unearned run but that would be the last time the Bears cracked the scoreboard in the 12-8 loss as the Bears left the bases loaded with one out in the eighth after the walk and got just one hit in the ninth around three strikeouts as SSU fell, 12-8.
The second game got started with a Cumberlands unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Bears tied the game after three straight singles from Todd Queener, Ryan Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) and Daniel Katayama (SR/Sao Paulo-Guarulhos, Brazil) in the top of the third.
The Bears took the lead for good in the top of the fourth. A double from Mason Wisner (JR/Bay Village, Ohio) and a later walk from Hightchew put runners on the corners after a groundout during the second at-bat of the inning. Dustin Bickmeyer (SR/O'Fallon, Mo.) scored Wisner on the bunt play to take the lead. A two-out RBI double from Page made it a 3-1 game before an RBI double from UC in the bottom half of the inning made it 3-2.
Strayer pitched perfect fifth and sixth innings to keep the Patriots down by that one run. The Bears gave their starter two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Queener singled and was driven in on an RBI double from Jake Cain (SO/Cold Spring, Ky.). Wisner then blasted the first home run of his Shawnee State career later in the inning to make it 5-2.
For the third straight inning, Strayer set the Patriots down in succession as he retired the final 11 batters that he faced on the afternoon. The Bears' sophomore picked up his third win of the season in the process to go along with his third complete game of the year. He allowed just seven hits and one earned run over the seven innings, while striking out three.
Shawnee State will be back in non-conference action this Monday against Berea at 6 p.m. Note that this is a change from the originally scheduled date due to predicated inclement weather in the area.