DAYTON, Tenn. (Baseball) – The Shawnee State baseball finally broke out of an offensive slump, exploding for nine runs on Saturday versus Cornerstone University, as the Bears won, 9-2, to finish a weekend slate at Bryan College, 1-3, at Senter Field. The Bears dropped a pair of games Friday versus Madonna University, before going 1-1 against Cornerstone.
Shawnee State was held scoreless in two games versus Madonna, collecting just 10 hits combined over two games en route to 2-0 and 4-0 losses.
In the opening game, Derek Moore (SO/Wheelersburg, Ohio) again provided a solid start, going six innings while allowing five hits and a pair of earned runs, while striking out two. In his first action of the season, Brandon Bonar (JR/Chillicothe, Ohio) finished out the game in a perfect inning of work.
The Bears surrendered a run in the second inning, when Cole Rize homered to left field with one out, Moore's lone mistake pitch of the contest. In the sixth, three straight Crusaders singled with one out in the inning before a balk brought courtesy runner Ben Matigian home.
SSU threatened in the fifth but left two runners aboard with one out in the frame. Drew Haislop (SO/Oak Hill, Ohio) singled in the seventh, but was retired on a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
In game two, Madonna scored a run in the second and third innings to surge ahead against starter Tyler Arthur (FR/Morehead, Ky.), who went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks. The Crusaders tacked on two more runs in the sixth, and starter Michael Kanitra threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout to earn the victory.
On Saturday in game one, SSU starter Cody Strayer (JR/Worthington, Ohio) allowed two runs in the opening frame, but got relief when Conner Wilson (JR/San Diego, Calif.) knocked in a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning with a double to plate Matt Dvorscak (FR/Whiting, Ind.) and Chase Clary (FR/South Shore, Ky.).
The two squads then went scoreless for six straight innings, sending the game into extras. In the top of the eighth, Cornerstone went off four five runs on four hits, to break the game open. The Bears were held scoreless in the bottom of the inning to fall to 0-7 on the season.
In game two, Shawnee State was finally able to get the offense rolling, collecting nine hits in the seven inning game – led by a pair of home runs from Connor Wilson and another from Blake Maines (SO/Burlington, Ky.). Mitchell Lendenski (JR/Loveland, Ohio) added a triple for the Bears.
Wilson got things going with a solo shot in the first inning, but Cornerstone answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Lendenski knotted things up in the second with an RBI triple.
The Bears took the lead for good in the third inning after the first three batters earned free passes. Two batters later, Maines scampered home on a passed ball and, following second hit batter, Jacob Waters (JR/DeWitt, Mich.) recorded an RBI on a bases loaded walk.
Shawnee State broke the game open when – following a Dvorscak walk to open the fourth – Maines launched a two run blast to right field. Wilson made it back-to-back when he sent one over the left field wall. Mason Wisner (SR/Bay Village, Ohio) and Mauro Olivarria (JR/San Diego, Calif.) followed with singles and were knocked in by a two-out single from JT Boggs (FR/South Shore, Ky.), making it 9-2.
Clay Tefft (FR/Wauseon, Ohio) earned the victory with 4.1 innings pitched and two runs (one earned) on four hits. Bonar closed out the final 2.2 innings, striking out three.
The Bears get back in action with a pair of games on Feb. 21, first playing Spring Arbor at 1 p.m., then Union College in the second game. SSU will take on Union again on Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m.