Williamsburg, Ky. – Shawnee State baseball got the Mid-South Conference Tournament Opening Round off to a good start, powering to a 6-3 upset win over Cumberlands (Ky.) to start the best-of-three series.
Cumberlands would get the game started with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Kevin Pantoja would lead the inning off with a walk. Jesse Reyes would bunt Pantoja over to second, and Reed Spata's grounder would get him to third. Chase Schmittou would then drive Pantoja in with a single to give the Patriots an early 1-0 lead.
Shawnee State would immediately strike to take the lead in the top of the second. Nick Rose (SO/Olentangy, Ohio) would lead the inning off with a single. Andrew Dito (SR/Loraine, Ohio) would then hit his first career home run, and his timely homer would give Shawnee State a 2-1 lead.
The Bears would add single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. With two outs in the fourth, Sam Gerhold (JR/Shelton, Washington) would single and be followed by a Casey Claflin (JR/Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) double to put SSU up 3-1. In the fifth, Christian Helton (SO/Lexington, Ky.) would single to lead off the inning. Helton would reach second on a wild pitch by Noah Gapp, and get to third on a groundout by JT Boggs (JR/South Shore, Ky.). With two outs, Chase Thurber (SO/Andover, Ohio) would double in Helton to push the Shawnee lead to 4-1.
Brandon Reaman (SR/Dayton, Ohio) would put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run to make the score 6-1. Cumberlands would get two runs in the bottom of the seventh on an Andrew Ramos two-run homer, but the Bears would hold the Patriots scoreless in the eighth and ninth to clinch the game one victory.
Derek Moore (SR/Wheelersburg, Ohio) would have one of his best outings of the season, throwing a complete game for the Bears. Through nine innings, Moore would allow only three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and strike out five to get the win. Noah Gapp allowed six runs on eight hits in seven innings to take the loss.
The win pushes Shawnee State's record to 14-33 on the season. Cumberlands falls to 37-15.
Shawnee State and Cumberlands will continue their series on Sunday, with first pitch in game two of the series set for 1:00pm. The if necessary game three is set to begin around 4:00pm.