PORTSMOUTH – Baseball used shutdown pitching and some power at the plate to sweep Ohio Christian in a doubleheader on Monday afternoon. With the two victories, the Bears (30-21) have now won 30 games in a season for the eighth time in program history. The win was also career win No. 200 for Head Coach Ted Tom.
In the opening game, a 5-1 victory for the Bears, Todd Queener (SR/Mentor, Ohio) and Daniel Katayama (SR/Sao Paulo-Guarulhos, Brazil) walked to put a pair of runners aboard right away in the bottom of the first. Blake Maines (FR/Burlington, Ky.) then doubled home both of those runs to give the Bears a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Shawnee State added its final three runs of game one with a pair of home runs in the third inning. Queener led off that frame with his sixth home run of the season to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. Katayama again walked and with two down, Nolan West (SO/Olivehurst, Calif.) homered over the right field fence for his third home run of the season, making the score 5-0.
The Trailblazers scored their only run in the top of the fourth when two straight SSU errors allowed an unearned run to score. Taylor Smith (SO/Crestview Hills, Ky.) picked up the win in the game as he improved to 5-3 on the year, pitching six innings and allowing just three hits with the one unearned run. Smith also struck out a career-high nine batters before giving way to Brandon Bonar (SO/Chillicothe, Ohio) who pitched a perfect seventh inning, while striking out two of the three batters he faced.
In game two's 14-0 victory, it was more power that paved the way for the SSU offense as four different players homered in that victory, giving the Bears a total of six home runs between the two contests. SSU would get on the board in the third when Brady Page (JR/Las Vegas, Nev.) singled and advanced all the way to third on an error in the outfield before a sacrifice fly from Mitchell Lendenski (SO/Loveland, Ohio) scored him.
The Bears scored six times in the fourth to blow the game open. Mason Wisner (JR/Bay Village, Ohio) led off the inning with a home run over the screen to straight away centerfield. A double from Dalton Tinsley (JR/Kokomo, Ind.) and single from Alex Shears (FR/Lucasville, Ohio) then put two more runners on. Page drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly. A single from Lendenski put two runners back on the base paths for Queener who delivered his second home run of the afternoon, a three-run blast. Brandon Blackwelder (JR/Cantonment, Fla.) then blasted his first career home run to cap the scoring in the fourth.
In the fifth inning, the Bears added two more runs as Tinsley walked with two outs before Shears blasted his first career home run to give the Bears a 9-0 lead. The Bears would add five more runs in their final at-bats to make the score 14-0. Mason Wisner added a sacrifice fly in the inning, while Shears doubled home two runs to finish the game with four RBI. Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.) and Queener finished the scoring for the game as each recorded RBI singles later in the inning.
Nolan West turned in the Bears' second strong pitching performance of the afternoon as he went five innings and allowed just two hits, while tying his career high with seven strikeouts in the game. At one point, West retired six straight batters via punch outs. He then turned the ball over the Bryan Sharkey (SR/Bedford, Ohio) and Nate Beasley (FR/Waverly, Ohio) who each allowed just one hit in their innings of work.
Baseball will close out the 2014 home schedule this Wednesday in a single game against Ohio-Lancaster. The home finale will get underway at 4 p.m. The regular season wraps up this weekend with a three-game MSC series at St. Catharine.