SEWANEE, TN- The Berea College baseball team took one and lost one from the Sewanee Tigers in the first day of their road trip to southern Tennessee by scores of 2-6 and 7-5, respectively.
The Mountaineers looked to keep the ball rolling after their impressive offensive effort against the Summit Defenders this past Thursday, in which they won a close 22-0 game. Berea's offense was stifled, however, for the first five innings against the Tigers. It wasn't until Tyler Plageman (2-3, R) singled and Evan Hackney (1-3, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 HR) homered in the top of the sixth to bring the score to 2-3 in favor of Sewanee. The Tigers were able to put up two more runs off of starting pitcher Chad Brown (L, 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 4 K, 1 HR) in the bottom half of the inning, and one off reliever Griffen Norris to stretch the lead to the final score of 2-6. Hackney's home run was his second of the season, but the Mountaineers still couldn't pull past winning Tiger pitcher Drew Mancuso (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 HR).
Game two would result in a better offensive output from the Mountaineers, however. Matt Wilburn took the bump for the ballplayers in blue, but found himself in hot water early in the game. The Tigers jumped to score five runs off the hard throwing right hander, and ended Wilburn's effort in the fourth inning. Nolan Sanders got the Mountaineers out of a jam in the fourth in relief of Wilburn, and gave BC the chance they needed to get back into the game.
A Nathan Summey and Chris Works single set the table for Tyler Plageman, who singled in Summey, and gave Evan Hackney a chance to do some damage. Hackney delivered with a bomb of a home run to left, scoring three runs, and putting the Mountaineers down only by a run. When asked about his powerful performance on the day, Hackney said, "I didn't even think I got that much under my first one, it just kind of snuck out. The second one I just knew he was going to start me off curveballs, cause I was looking for the fastball, and when I got the one I wanted, I just trusted my hands, and we got back in the game." Berea strung together a double by Devin Belleville, a single by Andrew Akins, and a double by Josh Wilson put Berea up by one. Ryan Blevens continued his solid hitting with a single to score Wilson, and finished the offensive effort for Berea. Chase O Connor came to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning, and tossed two solid innings to pick up his first save of the year, and finish the win for Nolan Sanders and the Mountaineers.
Berea, (weather permitting) will play one nine inning game against the Tigers at 12:00pm. Josh Wilson is the projected spot starter for Berea, and will look to push the Mountaineers win streak to two. For updates of the game, be sure to follow the official twitter of the Berea College baseball team: @BereaColBase.