The Shawnee State baseball program split the last two games of the Al Oliver Classic on Sunday afternoon, falling in game one to Madonna (Mich.) 7-4, and defeating Madonna 5-4 in game two.
In the first contest of the afternoon, Madonna took a 3-0 lead early on in the contest, with Taylor Grzelakowski delivering the big blow with an RBI double. However, the Bears would immediately hit back to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Nick Rose would ground out to third to drive in Blake Marshall, and with Brandon Reaman on third base, Chase Thurber hit a two-run homer to tie the game.
The Bears took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Brady Knittel singled in Christian Helton. Shawnee State held a 4-3 lead until the top of the seventh, when Madonna rallied to score four runs with two outs. Grzelakowski did the most damage again, hitting a two-run single to give Madonna the lead. Shawnee State got runners to second and third in the bottom of the seventh but stranded them there to end the game.
Madonna’s offense picked up where it left off in game two as the Crusaders scored one in the top of the first, second and fifth to take a 3-0 lead. Mike Watson got a run back for Shawnee State with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, but Madonna scored again in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1.
However, Shawnee State again made a charge in the bottom of the sixth. After Thurber reached on a single, Nick Rose nailed a triple to right field to bring Thurber in, while Helton drove in Rose with a single to close the gap to one, 4-3. Watson then doubled to get Helton to third, but two Cliff Landess strikeouts ended the threat.
In the seventh inning, Brandon Reaman started the frame with a single, and JT Boggs bunted for a base hit to put Reaman at second. Thurber would bunt for a hit of his own to load the bases with nobody out, and Nick Rose officially ended the game with his two-run walk-off double to right field, which drove in Reaman and Dvorscak — who pinch-ran for Boggs — to end the Bears’ eight-game losing streak.
Todd Jones got the win for Madonna in game one, with Joe Spano getting the loss. Cliff Landess got the save with a scoreless seventh inning. Mike Watson picked up the win in game two, throwing one inning of scoreless relief for Shawnee State. Landess was hit with the loss.
With the split, Shawnee State’s record moves to 4-14 on the year. Madonna is now 10-9 on the year.
Shawnee State is back in action on Wednesday, March 8th when they play at No. 22 Indiana University-Southeast. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.