PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Baseball) – JT Boggs (SO/South Shore, Ky.) erased a one-run deficit in the seventh inning of game one, and Mitchell Lendenski (SR/Loveland, Ohio) knocked in the eventual game-winner in game two, as the Shawnee State baseball team knocked off Point Park University, 4-3 and 3-2, in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at Branch Ricky Park.
The Bears (17-21) erased a 3-0 deficit with a pair of two-run frames in the opener, culminating in Boggs' two-out, two run blast – the first of his two-year career – to walk off in the midweek, non-conference bout
The Bears got a strong outing on the hill in a bullpen day to open up with a game-one victory, as five pitchers combined to surrender just five hits and three earned runs, while striking out eight.
Clay Tefft (SO/Wauseon, Ohio) started the game on the bump, going three innings, while surrendering three runs. Point Park (17-16) jumped on the board in the first inning, when – following a one out walk – Jake Horew homered over the left-center field wall to make it 2-0.
Tefft settled, going 1-2-3 in the second, but allowed a one-out single with a runner aboard to Shane Conley in the third, pushing the score to 3-0 in favor of the Pioneers.
Chase Thurber (FR/Andover, Ohio), Dylan Lyster (FR/Freeport, Texas) and James West (FR/Englewood, Ohio) would then shut down the visiting squad over the next 2.1 innings, allowing just a pair of hits and a walk.
The Shawnee State offense got rolling in the fourth inning when Andrew Vanthournout (SO/Bowling Green, Ky.) opened the inning with a leadoff double. Brandon Reaman (JR/Dayton, Ohio) followed with a near exact copy to the left-center wall, plating Vanthournout. Conner Wilson (SR/San Diego, Calif.) singled in the next at-bat to make it 3-2 after four.
The score would remain as such until the bottom of the seventh, but not without the aversion of potential disaster.
With runners on second and third and one out in the top of the sixth, Brandon Bonar (SR/Chillicothe, Ohio) came on and – following a walk – struck out back-to-back hitters to end the threat.
After a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Bears went down easily in the first two at-bats of the seventh inning. Connor Kindred (FR/Elizabethtown, Ky.) kept the inning alive with a single up the middle, setting up Boggs for the pinch-hit blast.
Boggs turned on a 2-2 curveball, sending a towering shot toward the right field wall. The ball ricocheted off a light post over the fence back into play, creating confusion on the base paths. After an umpire conference, the ball was correctly ruled over the wall for a home run, sending the SSU dugout into a frenzy and the Bears to a 4-3 victory.
Bonar earned the victory to move to 3-0 on the season, while Jarrad Brown took the loss for the Pioneers.
The second game of the afternoon was not without excitement in its own way, as – with a 1-1 lockup in the fifth – a lightning strike in the area sent the game into a nearly one hour rain delay.
The tie came to be, as the Bears plated a run in the second, when Matt Dvorscak (SO/Whiting, Ind.) singled to right field, plating Kindred, who reached on a single and advanced to second on a balk.
Point Park responded in the third, using a single, a sac bunt, another single and a fielding error to lock the score at one apiece.
SSU starter Tyler Arthur (SO/Morehead, Ky.) would cruise over the next 2.2 frames, before the lighting struck with two outs and no one on in the fifth. Arthur's day would conclude there, as the right-hander went 4.2 frames, surrendering the unearned run on five hits, a walk and a strikeout.
Following the delay, Andrew Dito (JR/Loraine, Ohio) came on to bring the fifth to an end. The Pioneers' reliever Brown returned in game two and worked through a hit in the bottom of the frame to send the game to the sixth still tied.
Following a scoreless top half, SSU got a one-out infield single from Dvorscak to get things going. Dvorscak then stole second and scored on a single from Vanthournout – who advanced to second on the throw home. Lendenski followed with another single, giving the Bears a much-needed insurance run.
Point Park would score one run in the seventh however – with a runner on second – Bonar came in again, slamming the door by inducing a fly ball to left field with two outs to earn his fifth save of the year.
Dito grabbed the first victory of his collegiate career, going two frames, surrendering just one run on three hits, while striking out a pair.
The Bears are back in action over the weekend with a three-game conference set against Campbellsville University. First pitch on Friday is currently slated for 6 p.m.