PORTSMOUTH – The Shawnee State baseball team dropped their Mid-South Conference opening series game against the No-12 ranked Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders in what was a pitcher's duel. The Bears (18-15, 4-6), who average just over seven runs per game at home this season, finished with just two runs as the Blue Raiders (19-13, 7-5) shut down Shawnee's hot bats and won 6-2.
After scoring a combined 25 runs on 30 hits in the past two games the Bears were able to manage only two runs on seven hits against the Blue Raiders. Lindsey Wilson starting pitcher, Darren Travers was the main culprit of the Bears struggles at the plate. Travers (6-1) pitched a complete game allowing two runs – one earned – with five strikeouts and only two batters walked.
However, Shawnee State's Strayer matched Travers pitch-for-pitch. Strayer (2-3) tossed 6.2 innings allowing five runs – four runs earned – on eight hits while striking out three batters. After allowing an unearned run in the second, Strayer tossed three straight scoreless innings before surrendering another in the top of the second.
Trailing 2-0 entering the seventh inning, the pitcher's duel caved for Strayer. The Blue Raiders scored three in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to their largest of the game at 5-0. The Bears weren't finished, as they responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the deficit to 5-2.
With a combined seven errors in the game for the two teams – four committed by the Bears – two throwing errors by Lindsey Wilson scored both Jordan Maier and Jake Lankheit. The wild play started with Todd Queener, who led the team going 3-for-4 with an RBI, singling to right field. As Jake Lankheit came on to score the wild throw allowed Queener to advance to second. The ball was then overthrown to second allowing Maier to score.
It was the only rally the Bears could manage on the day as Travers shut down Shawnee in the final two innings for his sixth win of the season.
Three Bears relievers came into the game combining 2.1 innings tossed allowing one run on three hits. Taylor Smith, Brandon Bonar and Jordan Williams all came in relief of Strayer. Lankheit went 2-for-4 as the only other Bear to have at least two hits in the game.
Shawnee State will be right back in action against the Blue Raiders tomorrow in a doubleheader. The game is scheduled to start at noon and will be played at Branch Rickey Park.