Clarksville, AR- Berea College baseball team got their season off to a start this weekend as they travelled to Clarksville, Arkansas this weekend for a four game series against the University of the Ozarks (AR). The weekend ended in a 0-4 start after four tough games and two unfortunate endings.
Senior pitcher Michael Smither got the opening day start but got off to a rough start as he made it through 4 innings pitched giving up 6 earned runs. Aaron Duncan pitched in relief for the mountaineers giving up 2 earned runs in 1 inning pitched. Freshman Dylan Sallee threw the last inning allowing 5 earned runs on three hits. Freshman Tanner Crowe led the team on offense going 2-3 with 1 run scored. Andrew Akins went 1-2 at the plate with 1 walk and1 run scored. Caleb Gupton and Cambridge Dacci each went 1-2 at the plate followed Devin Belleville going 1-3 and Nathaniel Summey going 1-4 at the plate.
The back end of the double header on Friday was a much closer contest as Griffen Norris took the mound for the mountaineers. Norris had a strong outing where he threw 6 and 2/3 innings allowing only 2 earned runs. Pitching in relief was Zach Withers who threw 1 and 1/3 inning allowing 2 earned runs, followed by freshman T.C. Eads who entered and gave up 1 hit allowing 1 run to score in walk off fashion. Offense was led by Josh Wilson going 1-2 at the plate with 2 RBI's and 2 walks. Tanner Crowe, Caleb Gupton, and Nicholas Bottom all went 1-4 at the dish. The mountaineers led the game 4-0 through the 5th but allowed the Ozarks to tie the game after producing 2 runs in the 7th and 2 runs in the 9th before winning on a walk-off double down the line, scoring the runner on second.
Josh Wilson got the start in the third game of the series where he pitched 4 innings allowing 5 runs but only one earned run. In relief T.C. Eads threw 2 and 2/3 innings, 3 runs and 2 earned runs. The offense was led by Seniors Nathaniel Summey and Ryan Blevins. Summey went 3-4 at the plate with 2 RBI's and 1 Run scored while Ryan went 1-3 with a 3-run homerun to tie the game and drew 1 walk as well. Devin Belleville, Tanner Crowe, and Ty Williams also had hits for the Mountaineers in their hard fought effort, but came up short as the Ozarks Justin Crider hit his second walk off of the weekend by hitting a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 7th to walk off.
In the final game of the weekend the Mountaineers fell to the Ozarks 18-4 due to a lack of offensive production, and unfortunate performance in the field as they committed 8 errors as a team. Freshman Kelby storm got the start on the mound as he threw 3 innings allowing 10 runs on only 2 earned runs while giving up 4 walks and throwing 4 strike outs. Jalen Prater threw in relief for the Mountaineers giving up 0 earned runs through 2 innings as the Mountaineers gave up 3 runs off of errors. Freshman Baylor Manire finished the game on the mound for Berea throwing 1 inning giving up 5 runs only 2 were earned. Ryan Blevins, Tanner Crowe, and Devin Belleville all had one hit in the outing.
Overall the weekend was a rough start for Berea College baseball as they begin the 2018 season but there were few bright spots for the Mountaineers in their debut. Freshmen Tanner Crow was the highlight of the weekend as he finished the weekend batting .417 with 2RBI's, 2 doubles, and 4 runs scored. Senior Devin Belleville finished the weekend batting .300 with 3 runs scored and drew 2 walks. Josh Wilson finished the weekend with an ERA of 2.25 and Griffen Norris finished with an ERA of 2.70.
The Mountaineers will be back in action on February 17th and 18th in a four game series against Wright State Lake. Game times are scheduled for 12:00pm and 3:00pm.