PORTSMOUTH – Baseball rolled to a 10-0 victory Wednesday evening against Ohio Wesleyan. In the first meeting between the two schools since the 1996 season, the (RV) Bears (24-18) pounded out fourteen hits, including a 5-for-5 night from Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.), in their win over the Battling Bishops (5-14).
Hightchew recorded the Bears' first hit of the game in the bottom of the third when he led off that inning with a double into the left-centerfield gap. He would then come around to score on a RBI single through the right side by Todd Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) to make it 1-0.
Shawnee State came back one inning later and did most of its damage during a five-run fourth inning. Blake Maines (FR/Burlington, Ky.) started the rally with a one-out walk. A single by Mason Wisner (JR/Bay Village, Ohio) and walk to Dalton Tinsley (JR/Kokomo, Ind.) in the two subsequent at-bats would load the bases. Hightchew, who also finished with three runs and three RBI, singled back through the middle to score the first two runs.
Devon Palmer (FR/Thornville, Ohio) would follow that at-bat with a triple into the right-centerfield gap, scoring two more runs. Brady Page (JR/Las Vegas, Nev.) then dropped a double down the right field line to score the fifth and final run of the inning. A walk to Queener would make it seven straight Bears to reach base before a strikeout looking would stop that stretch, while the Battling Bishops got out of the inning when the Bears tried unsuccessfully to take two bases on a wild pitch.
After a scoreless fifth, Shawnee State came back with three more in the sixth. Once again, Hightchew was right in the middle of things with a single to start the inning. Palmer and Page walked and singled to load the bases. A wild pitch by Kaiser scored the first run of that inning. Todd Queener then reached via a walk to reload the bases. The second run of the inning came in on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio), while a single from Katayama loaded the bases for a third time. Jake Cain (SO/Cold Spring, Ky.) finished the scoring with SSU's second sacrifice fly of the inning as the Bears took a 9-0 lead into the seventh.
The Bears scored their final run of the evening after back-to-back single from Katayama and Cain, with a hit by pitch from Mitchell Lendenski (SO/Loveland, Ohio), loading the bases. Hightchew capped the scoring with an RBI single to make the score 10-0.
On the mound, Taylor Smith (SO/Crestview Hills, Ky.) picked up the victory as he pitched six scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits during that time. Smith also did not walk a batter, while striking out four as he improved to 4-0 on the season with his ERA dropping to 0.55 for the season in 32.2 innings of work. Ryan Valentine (JR/Springboro, Ohio), Nolan Potter (JR/Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Wisner each totaled one inning of work in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings of play as each contributed to a combined shutout.
The Bears will be back at home this Friday when Bluefield College comes to Branch Rickey Park for the start of a three-game MSC series. Friday's single game will start at 4 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader will get underway at noon.