Portsmouth, Ohio – Shawnee State baseball were swept on Tuesday afternoon, falling to Milligan (Tenn.) 10-9 in game one and 1-0 in game two at a soggy Branch Rickey Park.
The Buffaloes got off to a hot start on Shawnee State starting pitcher Josh Eplin (SR/Streator, Ill.), getting three runs in the first inning and five runs in the second. The Buffaloes would lead 10-0 by the middle of the fourth inning. Clayton Conner would hit two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly to lead Milligan in RBIs.
The Bears would begin a frantic comeback in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on second and third and two outs, Christian Helton (SO/Lexington, Ky.) would hit a tough grounder to third, forcing an errant throw from Milligan third baseman Hunter Suggs, allowing both runners to score.
The Bears would strike again in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and second with no outs, Chase Thurber (SO/Andover, Ohio) would launch a three-run home run to left field.
With James West (SO/Englewood, Ohio) holding the Buffaloes at bay through three innings of scoreless relief, Shawnee State would attempt their final rally in the bottom of the seventh. The Bears would load the bases with no outs, and Nick Rose (SO/Olentangy, Ohio) would drive in Sam Gerhold (JR/Shelton, Washington) with a walk. Milligan pitcher Justin Morefield would throw a wild pitch, allowing Matt Dvorscak (JR/Whiting, Ind.) to score. Brandon Reaman (SR/Dayton, Ohio) would score on Thurber's groundout to shortstop. After a JT Boggs (JR/South Shore, Ky.) strikeout, pinch hitter Brady Knittel (JR/West Portsmouth, Ohio) would hit an RBI single to right center. However, Brandon Marshall would pop out to end the game and leave the tying run stranded on first.
Luke Spalding would get the win for Milligan, allowing two runs on two hits with five strikeouts in five innings pitched. Josh Eplin would allow eight runs on nine hits in 1.1 innings to get hit with the loss. Justin Morefield would earn the save after the tying run came into the on-deck circle when he was brought into the game.
Game two would be a far different game, with pitching dominating the afternoon. Milligan would score the game's only run on Jascanel Ferrera's RBI single in the top of the fifth.
Cameron Sauls would have a great afternoon on the mound for the Buffaloes, allowing no runs on only two hits and striking out three in a seven inning complete game to get the win. Tyler Arthur (JR/Morehead, Ky.) would get a hard luck loss for Shawnee State, allowing only a single run on two hits in 4.2 innings. Jesse James (JR/Grayson, Ky.) and Joe Spano (FR/Sunrise, Florida) would combine to throw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
With the losses, Shawnee State falls to 7-23 on the season. Milligan improve to 16-16.
Shawnee State hit the road for the weekend, traveling to #6 Georgia Gwinnett for a three game set. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5:00pm.