PORTSMOUTH – Bluefield swept Sunday's doubleheader against the Shawnee State baseball team to come back and win the weekend set after the Bears took the opening game on Friday evening. The Rams (27-12, 10-10 MSC) jumped all over the Bears in the opening game, a 14-4 victory in nine innings. The Bears (25-20, 11-9 MSC) rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of game two, sending the game into extra innings. However, the Rams scored eight runs in that extra frame for a 12-4 win.
Bluefield started the day quickly when it scored a two-out run, plating a leadoff walk on an RBI single to take what was the Rams' first lead of the weekend series. The Rams added two runs in the second after a walk and single to start that inning came around to score on another two-out single. Bluefield made it 5-0 in the fourth inning of game after a leadoff double and SSU error put two more runners aboard to start that frame. A leadoff single would also come around to score in the fifth, making the total 6-0 before the Bears got on the Board.
Dustin Bickmeyer (SR/O'Fallon, Mo.) and Brady Page (JR/Las Vegas, Nev.) worked leadoff walks in the fifth inning to get something started for the Bears. After a fielder's choice cut down one of the runners, an RBI double from Ryan Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) got the Bears on the board. Daniel Katayama (SR/Sao Paulo-Guarulhos, Brazil) then followed that up with a single to make the score 6-2.
The two teams would then trade a pair of runs in the seventh. Bluefield scored its two runs in the frame after two of the first three batters singled. A walk to Page in the bottom half of that inning was followed by a two-run home run from Todd Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) to bring the Bears within 8-4. However, Bluefield left no doubt in the opener with six runs on six hits with the help of four Shawnee State errors in the ninth inning to blow the game open.
In the rubber match of the series, Shawnee State struck first with a run in its first at-bats. Todd Queener reached on an error, while Ryan Queener singled after that at-bat. A wild pitch moved the runs to third before a sacrifice fly from Katayama made it 1-0. The Bears had a chance to add to that lead in the second when singles from Nolan West (SO/Olivehurst, Calif.) and Bickmeyer were moved into scoring position on a bunt by Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.).
However, those two runners would be stranded in scoring position with one out and the Rams used that momentum boost and took the lead in the third inning. The Rams had just a one-out double but worked a walk with two away before back-to-back two-out RBI singles gave the Rams a 4-2 lead.
Shawnee State tied the game two innings later. West and Bickmeyer again singled to start an inning in the fourth. Hightchew singled home one run before the Rams got a fielder's choice to cut down the lead runner and double play to escape further damage. Bluefield did not wait long to regain the lead. Despite a strong throw from Todd Queener to nail a runner at third after a fly out with two aboard. The Rams would get three straight two-out singles and hold a 4-2 edge going into the seventh.
In that seventh inning, Shawnee State starter Cody Strayer (SO/Worthington, Ohio) got out of second and third with one out situation to give his team a chance. Todd Queener singled and Ryan Queener then doubled to get something started. Katayama made it three straight hits with a single into centerfield, cutting the deficit to one. A sacrifice fly from Blake Maines (FR/Burlington, Ky.) then tied the game with one out.
The Bears could do no further damage to walk off with the victory and just as quickly as things look as though they were finally starting to fall into a place after a tough day, momentum took a compete 1800-degree turn. In the eighth inning, The Rams sent twelve batters to the plate and scored eight runs on six hits, two walks and an error. That damage easily carried the Rams to the sweep with a 12-4 win in game two.
Baseball will now look to bounce back this Tuesday when it travels to Morehead State for a single game that will get underway at 6 p.m.