MONTGOMERY, W. Va. – Baseball swept a doubleheader with West Virginia Tech on the road Wednesday afternoon. The Bears (21-17) took the opening game 6-1 before a 6-3 win with three runs in the top of the seventh during the second game. Shawnee State also picked up 3-2 win against the Golden Bears (9-16) last week, sweeping the three-game season series.
In the opening game, Shawnee State took an early 1-0 advantage as Todd Queener singled to start the game, while walks to Ryan Queener and Daniel Katayama loaded the bases. Mason Wisner drove home the game's first run of the game with a sacrifice fly.
Shawnee State added two more runs in the second inning. Brandon Blackwelder led off the inning, while Mitchell Lendenski stole second and moved to third on wild pitch. Lendenski then scored on a sacrifice fly from Brady Page to make the score 2-0. With two outs, Todd Queener restarted things with another single, while two more walks to Ryan Queener and Katayama loaded the bases. With nowhere to put the batter, the Bears' next free pass came when Jake Cain was hit by pitch to force in a run.
The Bears added on their final runs in the top of the sixth, Brady Hightchew reached base after being hit by pitch. After a groundout moved him to third, the Queener brothers each doubled home a run to make the score 5-0. A single from Katayama moved Ryan Queener to third. He would then score on a passed by to make the score 6-0.
Taylor Smith was in control all afternoon during the opening game as he did not allow his first run of the game until there were two outs in West Virginia Tech's final at-bats. Smith started out the game by retiring the first eight batters that he faced before an infield single gave the Golden Bears their first base runner of the afternoon. Smith allowed just four hits and the one run over his seven innings of work. He also struck out five while walking one en route to improving his season record to 3-0. The complete game effort was the first of his SSU career.
In the second game, it was West Virginia Tech that got on the board first with a sacrifice fly in its first at-bats. Devon Palmer reached on an error in third inning. Lendenski ran for him and came around to score on a triple from Todd Queener to tie the game at 1-1.
The game would remain tied at 1-1 all the way until the sixth inning. After two fly outs, Hightchew singled to keep the inning alive. He then scored on a triple from Palmer to give the Bears the lead. Lendenski would again run for him and came around to score on a passed ball during the next at-bat.
The Golden Bears used a key SSU error in the bottom of the sixth to plate a pair of runs. West Virginia Tech would end up having the bases loaded later in the inning after a double steal and walk. However, Wisner induced a double play ball and got the Bears out of the jam after coming in from the bullpen earlier that inning.
Tied at 3-3 now heading to the seventh and final inning, Todd Queener reached on an error to start the inning and stole second. Katayama was then intentionally walked with one out to set up a force but a wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out. This caused the Golden Bears to go ahead and walk Cain to load the bases.
Wisner helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to centerfield in what proved to be the game-winning RBI. Dalton Tinsley drove in the Bears' final two runs of the afternoon with an RBI single to make the score 6-3. There would be no second rally for the Golden Bears as Wisner pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up his fourth win of the year. Wisner came on in relief of Ryan Valentine in the sixth inning after Valentine went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on just two hits and four walks. Valentine also struck out three.
Baseball will be back in Mid-South Conference play this weekend when the Bears travel to Lindsey Wilson this Friday and Saturday for a three-game series. Both teams are tied for third place in the conference with identical 8-6 records in the MSC to date.