PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Baseball) – Derek Moore (JR/Wheelersburg, Ohio) was dominant for nine innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven in a complete-game effort, as the Bears knocked off the University of Pikeville, 4-0, to open up a Mid-South Conference series on Friday afternoon at Branch Rickey Park.
Moore (4-3) did not allow a runner to reach second base until the ninth inning, including five perfect innings, and never more than a single hit in a frame.
The Bears (12-17, 4-3 Mid-South) were able to do enough offensively, plating one run in the sixth and three more in a big eighth to add unnecessary insurance for the right-hander out of Wheelersburg, Ohio.
The Contest remained scoreless through five and a half frames, before Shawnee State was finally able to push a run across. It was all Mitchell Lendenski (SR/Loveland, Ohio), turning a single into a run to give the Bears a lead.
Lendenski opened the inning with a one-out single to left field. The senior then stole second and stole third to move into scoring position with two away. A wild pitch then allowed Lendenski to scamper home, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.
The score would remain as such until the eighth, as Moore settled in, allowing just one hit – which would be erased on a double play – over the next four innings.
Shawnee State would be the benefactor of a few more UPike mistakes in the eighth to put some insurance on the board. Following three straight singles to lead off the inning, Pikeville (14-11, 4-3 Mid-South) got a pair of outs to potentially avert disaster.
However, disaster would strike in the form of a balk during the next batter to plate a run. UPike then threw a wild pitch in the same at-bat, plating one more and following a hit batter, Zachariah Freeman (JR/Richmond, Texas) singled in the would-be final run of the game.
Despite a hit and an error in the top of the ninth, Moore worked out of the jam inducing a fly ball to right to bring the game to a close.
Mike Watson (SO/Niles, Ohio) finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate, while Lendenski went 2-for-3 with a run and Freeman tallied two hits with the Bears' lone RBI.
Shawnee State and Pikeville get back after it in a doubleheader to end the three-game set on Saturday afternoon. First pitch at Branch Rickey Park is set for noon.