PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Baseball) – In game one Josh Eplin (JR/Streator, Ill.) and Joe Loyd (FR/Bidwell, Ohio) both pitched well, but they were unable to receive run support as the Bears fell 6-3. In game two Brady Knittel (SO/West Portsmouth, Ohio) put in another strong performance, but fell victim to the same fate as Eplin, as Shawnee lost game two 4-1 to the University of Pikeville on Saturday afternoon at Branch Rickey Park.
In game one Eplin went four innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out two batters. In game two, Knittel went six innings allowing four runs and striking out three. Brandon Reaman (JR/Dayton, Ohio) was a bright spot for the Bears offense in game one, going 2-for-4 and hitting a two-run home run.
Pikeville pushed a run across in the opening frame of the contest and another one in their half of the third, but thanks to a two-run bomb lined over the scoreboard in left field, Reaman erased the deficit. Through three innings of play the score was even at two apiece.
Pikeville broke the tie in the fourth, grabbing two runs. This proved to be all they needed as Shawnee State was only able to put one more run on the board thanks to an RBI single from Conner Wilson (SR/San Diego, Calif.). Pikeville came out of this one on top by a score of 6-3.
Zachariah Freeman (JR/Richmond, Texas) provided some early offense for the Bears, laying down a bunt along the third base line. Freeman was able to advance to third on a throwing error and then came home on a wild pitch giving Shawnee State a quick 1-0 lead. Pitchers for both teams settled in as the next two innings were scoreless. SSU held on to their 1-0 lead through three innings of play.
In the top of the fourth, Pikeville scored their first run of the game, they followed it up with another run in the fifth and two more in the seventh. Shawnee State was unable to overcome the deficit and fell by a final score of 4-1.
Loyd was a bright spot for the Bears coming in to the game with the bases loaded and providing two strong innings of relief, allowing only one hit.
Shawnee State will take on Mount Vernon Nazarene in a two-game series this Tuesday. Game one will start at 1 p.m. here at Branch Rickey Park.