The game started out looking like it was going to be a quick first inning. The Mountaineers retired the first three batters for the #2 ranked Tennessee Temple and had their first two batters retired before Ryan Akins singled to center. After stealing second base, Akins would make his way to home base off a Logan Hunt RBI single to record the first run of the inning for the Blue Crew. Hunt continued the scoring effort as Evan Hackney scored Hunt on a RBI double. The Mountaineers ended the first inning leading 2-0.
Berea would strike again in the bottom of the third. Aaron Effoe got the Mountaineers started with a single to right center only to steal second base and Akins reached base on a walk. On the third pitch into Hunt's at bat, Effoe stole third base and would score from third base on a wild throw from the pitcher to make the score 3-0. Akins advanced to second base as Hunt struck out but reached base on the pitcher's wild pitch to put two runners on first and second. A sacrifice fly from Jake Taylor brought Akins home and Hunt scored on a fielder's choice to make the score 5-0 at the end of the third inning.
The Mountaineers added a sixth run in the bottom of the fourth inning after Devin Belleville hit a RBI sacrifice fly to center field Alex Helm would score on to make the score 6-0. The Crusaders put their first run on the board in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 6-1 after six innings. Helm scored again in the bottom of the eighth inning off a Belleville RBI single to shallow left-center field to make the score 7-1 going into the top of the ninth inning.
The ninth inning struck disaster for the Mountaineers as the first three batters for TTU reached base on a walk to load the bases with no outs. After a pitching change by the Blue Crew, a Crusader crossed home plate on a single to make the score 7-2, still with no outs and the bases loaded. The third run of the game for Tennessee Temple came from a walk with the bases loaded. A hit by pitch with the bases loaded put the fourth run of the game on the board for Tennessee Temple. The Crusaders fifth run of the game came from a fielder's choice but Berea recorded the first out of the inning on a force out. The next batter for TTU grounded out to third but brought their sixth run of the game to make the score 7-6 with two outs. The Crusaders brought the seventh and tying run in on a double down the left field line. The Mountaineers would get the third out necessary to end the inning, but not before Tennessee Temple added the eighth run to take the lead 8-7.
Akins started the bottom of the ninth inning with Berea needing to score a run to extend the game or two runs to win the game and reached base on a single to shallow center field. Akins reached second base on a passed ball but unfortunately the Mountaineers could not muster the offense to come back in the ninth inning and fall to the Crusaders in a heartbreaking fashion 8-7.
Lance Shelton started the game for Berea and pitched 7.1 innings, carrying a no-hitter through five innings, giving up one run, walking four batters and striking out 10. Effoe led the Mountaineers on offense, going 3-5 with one RBI, one run scored and three stolen bases. The team as a whole scored seven runs on 11 hits and committed one error.
Berea returns to action tomorrow, April 11th against the Crusaders in a doubleheader as the Mountaineers celebrate senior night. First pitch is scheduled to take place at 1:00 PM.