Berea, KY- The baseball team returned to the field at the Berea College Sports Complex this afternoon for the first time since finding out they were the #12 ranked team in the USCAA. The team celebrated their seniors as they took on the #4 team in the USCAA, the University of Cincinnati-Clermont Cougars on Senior Day in a doubleheader to begin a three-game series between the two teams.
Berea headed to the batter's box trailing 1-0 before Nathaniel Summey hit a single to put the tying run on base in the first inning. The run never came to fruition though as Summey was caught stealing and the third out ended the inning. Defense got the best of both teams as the next two innings saw no change in the score. The deficit changed to 3-0 as Clermont added two runs to their lead in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, the Mountaineers got two runners on as Summey reached via an error and Ryan Blevens' single which cause a throwing error allowed Summey to move to third and Blevens to second. The two baserunners were left on base though as the next two batters recorded the final outs of the inning.
Berea struck through in the fifth inning though, as William Hislope reached first on an error and quickly made his way to third on Nicholas Bottom's double to right center field. Senior Joshua Works' ground out resulted in a RBI as Hislope scored to make the score 3-1. The score remained the same as the fifth inning ended. The visiting Cougars scored two more runs over the final two innings as the Mountaineers' offense was held in check, giving Clermont the 5-1 victory.
After the conclusion of the Senior Day festivities, the second game began with both teams going three up and three down in the first inning. The second inning saw the game become tied at one as Caleb Gupton reached base on a fielder's choice and scored off Hislope's single. Two runs in the third inning by the Cougars along with a run in the fourth gave them a 4-1 lead. The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh, as the Mountaineers went to the plate looking to extend the game or win it with a walk-off hit. Overstreet began the inning with a hit by pitch and moved to second off Gupton's single. A Devin Belleville single loaded the bases before Hislope hit a single which scored Overstreet to cut the deficit in half and kept the bases loaded. After the first out of the inning, Works' fielder's choice allowed Joshua Durbin, a pinch runner for Gupton, to cut the visitor's lead to just one, 4-3. On the scoring play, the second out of the inning occurred and the game ended as a fly out to right field ceased Berea's rally, making the team fall 4-3.
Hislope led the way at the plate, going 2-3 with two RBIs. Andrew Akins, Overstreet, Gupton and Belleville added hits for the Mountaineers, giving the team a total of six hits. Michael Smither started the game on the bump for the team and got relieved by senior pitcher Nolan Sanders.
#12 Berea (10-18) returns to the diamond to conclude their three-game series against the Cougars tomorrow afternoon. Action at the Berea College Sports Complex is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM.