PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Baseball) – Mauro Olivarria (JR/San Diego, Calif.)'s first inning, three run home run got the Shawnee State baseball team out to an early lead versus West Virginia Tech, but a two-run fourth and five-run fifth for the Golden Bears proved too much for SSU, who fell, 10-6, in non-conference action Wednesday afternoon at Branch Rickey Park.
Olivarria finished the game 2-for-5 and Mason Wisner (SR/Bay Village, Ohio) added a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, sparking a Bear offense that struggled in the early part of the season.
Starting on the hill for SSU, Ethan Moffatt (JR/Somerville, Tenn.) provided four strong innings, holding WVU Tech scoreless for the opening three frames before allowing a pair of runs to score in the fourth. Moffatt's final line included a pair of earned runs, six hits and two walks in a no decision.
The Bears got out to an early advantage all with two outs in the opening frame, as Blake Maines (SO/Burlington, Ky.) reached on a walk and Conner Wilson (JR/San Diego, Calif.) singled to left. On the first pitch Olivarria saw, he lifted a scorching blast to right-center field, clearing the fence easily.
West Virginia Tech answered in the fourth with a pair of runs off a sacrifice fly from Austin Lucas and a groundout from Xavier Barriere, set up by three straight singles from the Golden Bears to open the inning.
Following a scoreless bottom of the fourth, the Golden Bears took the lead for the first time in the fifth. With Austin Goodwin on to pitch for SSU, Tech loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks. Another walk plated the first run and Josh Hudson singled home two more.
Trevor Lam followed with a sacrifice fly to plate one before a single from Lucas brought home another run, sending the Golden Bears out to a 7-3 lead after five.
In the bottom of the sixth, SSU scored three runs to climb back in the contest. Wisner opened the frame with a leadoff double, and Adam Turner (FR/Lansing, Mich.) followed with his own double down the line to score a run. Two batters later, Dalton Tinsley (SR/Kokomo, Ind.) added another two-bagger for the second run of the frame. An error allowed Tinsley to move to third and he scored on the next batter on another miscue, pushing the score to 7-6.
After a scoreless seventh frame, West Virginia Tech added an insurance run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to put the game away. The Bears put one runner on in the bottom of the ninth, but could not get anyone past second, falling to the tune of 10-6.
Goodwin took the loss in the contest for SSU, while Jayson Sykora earned his first victory of the season on the hill for WVUT. Alan Saumell earned the save with 2.2 innings of work.
Shawnee State returns to Mid-South Conference play over the weekend, playing host to reigning NAIA National Champion Cumberland University. The two squads will square off in a single game Friday slated to begin at 4 p.m.