BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Baseball) – The Shawnee State baseball team score a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie, but Lindsey Wilson College answered with four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to advance in the winner's bracket with a 4-1 victory Thursday night in the Mid-South Conference Tournament at Bowling Green Ballpark.
SSU starter Cody Strayer (JR/Worthington, Ohio) was effectively wild over the first seven frames, blanking the Blue Raiders despite six walks and a hit batter during that stretch. The junior right-hander kept the high-powered LWC offense at bay, leaving the third-seeded squad hitless into the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Lindsey Wilson starter Scott Sebald was doing much of the same, scattering six hits over seven innings of work. The score remained tied at goose eggs for the first six stanzas.
It was Shawnee State who got on the board first, as Jacob Waters (JR/DeWitt, Mich.) opened up the seventh inning with a single. Blake Maines (SO/Burlington, Ky.) followed with a fly ball to center that was misplayed to put runners on first and second. Mauro Olivarria (JR/San Diego, Calif.) delivered the big hit, singling up the middle to bring home Waters and lift the Bears ahead, 1-0.
The bottom of the seventh went scoreless, leaving the Blue Raiders with just six outs to regain the lead. It would take only three.
In the bottom of the eighth, Strayer struck out Mid-South Player of the Year Alex Bautista to open up the frame, but walked the next batter, Victor Nazario. He followed with a hit batter and then another walk, his eighth of the contest.
The next batter, Daryl Blaskovich, hit a sharp ground ball to third setting up a play at the plate. Blake Maines' throw soared away from catcher Adam Turner (FR/Lansing, Mich.), and two runs came across to give Lindsey Wilson the lead. With two outs in the inning, Russ Morse singled up the middle to extend the lead to three, despite all four runs coming in unearned fashion.
The Bears went down in order in the top of the ninth, falling to the loser's bracket of the tournament. LWC reliever Carlos Pena earned the late inning victory, pitching two innings of scoreless work. Strayer took the loss in 7.2 innings. Brandon Bonar (JR/Chillicothe, Ohio) worked a third of an inning to get the final out for SSU.
Shawnee State now turns sights to the eighth-seeded University of Pikeville, who upset Georgetown College on Thursday morning to remain alive in the loser's bracket. The battle of the Bears is set to begin Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Should SSU advance past UPike, the club will play again Friday at 7 p.m. ET.