COLUMBIA, Ky. – Baseball got a dominant performance from Derek Moore (FR/Wheelersburg, Ohio) in the opening game against Lindsey Wilson as the Bears' freshman pitched a three-hit shutout to lead his team to a 1-0 victory. The solid pitching continued in game two as the Bears (22-18, 9-7 MSC) had a 2-0 lead behind Cody Strayer (SO/Worthington, Ohio) heading into the seventh and final inning. However, the Blue Raiders (21-18, 9-7 MSC) scored their first three runs of the entire afternoon – all unearned - with the help of three SSU errors to walk off with a 3-2 win in the second game.
Lindsey Wilson got its first hit of the game off of Moore to lead off the bottom of the first. However, that runner was erased on a caught stealing during the next at-bat. After erasing that lead off hit, Moore retired the next 13 batters that he squared off against as he had faced the minimum heading into the fifth inning.
The Blue Raiders would stop that streak of 13 straight hitters would be halted with a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth. Once again, Dustin Bickmeyer (SR/O'Fallon, Mo.) would catch Lindsey Wilson trying to steal second and that single would also be nullified.
Through the first five innings, Shawnee State had just one hit off of Blue Raiders' starter England Smith with Ryan Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) singling with one out in the top of the first. Todd Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) and Bickmeyer also drew walks in the third and fifth innings, but would be stranded.
The Bears would finally get Moore the one and only run he would need on the afternoon in the sixth inning. Todd Queener recorded the Bears' second hit of the afternoon as he doubled into the right-centerfield gap to start the inning. A groundout from Ryan Queener moved his brother to third with one out. Daniel Katayama (SR/Sao Paulo-Guarulhos, Brazil) then plated the game's only run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
With the lead, Moore retired the next nine batters that he faced in order as he pitched perfect sixth, seventh and eighth innings to maintain the 1-0 lead. With the lone two singles on his line caught stealing earlier in the game, he had faced the minimum through the first eight innings. However, the Bears were unable to add any insurance runs to the scoreboard as they stranded singles in the seventh and eighth innings.
Looking to lock down the 1-0 win, Moore conceded a leadoff single to start the ninth. That runner was bunted into scoring position, but a pop up on the infield put two away before Moore took the final out himself with a swinging strikeout.
Moore improved to 7-1 on the year in his 10 starts. He now has five complete games, with three of those being shutouts. His five complete games is now tied for the fifth-most in single season with seven other players at Shawnee State. The three shutouts is a new school record for a single season and has already tied the career records held by Austin Dunfee (2009-12), Brady Rose (1996-99), Justin Craft (2005-08) and Chad Fyffe (1996-00). Moore struck out six batters over the course of the game.
In the second game, which was scheduled to be the seven inning game of the weekend series, the Bears jumped out to an early lead and held a 2-0 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh. In total, the Bears had held the Blue Raiders off the board for the first 15 innings of baseball on Saturday.
Shawnee State struck in its first at-bats of the second game as Todd Queener led off the game with a single. He was forced out but Ryan Queener was moved up to second on a groundout before scoring on an RBI single from Blake Maines (FR/Burlington, Ky.).
The Bears added an unearned run in the fourth. With two outs, Dalton Tinsley (JR/Kokomo, Ind.) reached on an outfield error and moved to third after a misplayed grounder off the bat of Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.) in back-to-back at-bats. A wild pitch from the Blue Raiders made the score 2-0.
Strayer kept the Lindsey Wilson offense at bay through the first six innings as he retired the side in order during the first, fourth and fifth innings. He picked off the first Lindsey Wilson single of the game in the second before stranding a two-out hit by pitch. He also stranded a single in the third. In the sixth, the Blue Raiders worked a walk but Strayer helped himself out with the glove in that inning as he snagged a liner back through the middle and doubled off the runner at first.
However, the defense came completely unglued in the seventh. After a leadoff single, Strayer looked to have a shot at a double play ball to second, but an error put runners on first and second with nobody out. Strayer then got the next batter to pop up on a bunt on the infield. He was unable to make the catch but still appeared to have the runner at third but a wild throw to that base loaded the bases with nobody down. A sacrifice fly put runners on the corners with one out, but brought Lindsey Wilson within a run, 2-1. The Blue Raiders would get the tying run on another wild throw on the infield. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Jacob Roberts sacrifice fly to centerfield was the game-winner.
Strayer took the hard-luck loss after going 6.2 innings and allowed just three hits and the three unearned runs. He struck out five, while walking two. His counterpart, Luke Shearrow, allowed five hits in seven full innings of work to get the win. Shearrow struck out eight on the day.
Baseball will now to try to win the series tomorrow in the third game which will be a full nine inning game. That game will get underway at noon EST (11 a.m. CST).