Cougar News
Baseball - Sat, Apr. 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM
PADUCAH, Ky. - For the third consecutive weekend, the Mid-Continent University baseball team put itself in position to win games in a TranSouth Athletic Conference weekend series. Unfortunately for the Cougars, Saturday afternoon saw an all-too-familiar pair of results.
Mid-Continent (11-31, 1-8) hung with the TranSouth leading Bethel University Wildcats all afternoon at Paducah's Brooks Stadium, but the Wildcats (22-12, 9-0) completed held off the Cougars in a pair of ballgames, taking wins of 2-1 and 6-5.
Game one of the day was nearly a carbon copy of game one of the series from Friday evening. Bethel tallied in the second inning on a sacrifice fly, then the teams exchanged runs in the third. Bethel's Lance Jerrald lined a solo homer to left field with two out in the third to push Bethel's lead to 2-0, and Hunter Bolden drove in Blake Vaughan after Vaughan had reached on a dropped third strike to pull Mid-Continent back to within one at 2-1.
From that point forward, the pitching was the story. Turner Bush continued to keep the Mid-Continent hitters off balance, and Jack Coleman did the same to the Wildcats into the sixth inning. With one out in the inning and runners on first and second, Coleman was lifted in favor of Michael Edwards, who struck out the final two men in the inning to keep the Cougars within a single run. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, Edwards allowed consecutive one-out hits before repeating his six inning performnce by striking out the final two men he saw with runners at second and third to again keep the Wildcats off the board. Mid-Continent, however, was unable to solve Bush in the seventh, going down in order as the Wildcats took game one 2-1.
Bush (4-2) allowed just one earned runs on four hits and a walk, striking out eight in the complete game win. Coleman (0-5) was nearly as good, allowing only two earned in five and one-third while walking three and scattering six hits. Joseph Blair singled twice, and Dylan Rasch had Mid-Continent's only other hit in the game.
Bethel came out in the weekend's final game and tried to put Mid-Continent away early. The Wildcats tallied three unearned runs in the first inning, then Jerrald blasted his second homer of the day - a two-run shot - to left field, stretching the Bethel lead to 5-0 after just an inning and a half. Dain Burress started a Mid-Continent rally with a leadoff walk in the third inning, later scoring in front of a double from Blake Vaughan to get the Cougars on the board at 5-1. After a walk to Hunter Bolden loaded the bases, Jordan Adams lined a two-run double to deep left field, scoring Reed and Blake Vaughan to pull the Cougars back in the game, trailing only 5-3. Bolden doubled home Reed Vaughan in the bottom of the fifth to pull the Cougars to within a single run at 5-4, then in the sixth, Micah Rainwater and Reed Vaughan each doubled, drawing the Cougars even at 5-5. Bethel got a leadoff double from shortstop Michael Brasili to lead off the top of the seventh inning, and he later scored on a sacrifice fly to put Bethel back on top 6-5, but the bottom of the seventh started well for the Cougars. Bolden singled to lead off, Blair sacrificed him to second, bringing up Adams with the tying tun in scoring position. Adams blasted a deep drive to center field, but Alonzo Powell ran it down for the Wildcats, and though Bolden tagged up and advanced to third on the play, he would not score as Ryne Fisher got Dylan Rasch to strike out swinging to end the game.
Keaton Gregory (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Jason Overton, allowing one run on two hits in an inning and two-thirds. Blake Balderaz (0-9) allowed six runs - three earned - on 10 hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out two in the loss, and Ryne Fisher (6) worked a scoreless ninth for the save. Bolden, Rainwater, and Reed Vaughan each had two hits including a double for Mid-Continent at the plate, Blake Vaughan and Jordan Adams each added a double, and Adams had two RBIs.
The road does not get easier for Mid-Continent, heading into their final week of non-conference play for the 2013 season. The Cougars hit the road on Tuesday, heading to Lebanon, Tenn. to take on the NAIA #12 Cumberland University Bulldogs (33-13-1) at 2 p.m.