SSU salvages series with Pikeville via Game 3 victory

Staff Report

Shawnee State’s Blake Marshall.

Shawnee State’s Blake Marshall.

Submitted Photo

Thursday, March 22

Game 1 — Pikeville 13, Shawnee State 3 (F/7)

The Shawnee State baseball program dropped its fourth game in a row on Thursday afternoon, falling in their series opener to Pikeville, 13-3, in seven innings.

Pikeville jumped out in front with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Jay Vincent walked and Jorge Perez was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Luke Lubiniecki then singled to center field to score Vincent and move Perez to second to give UPike a 1-0 lead. Luke Hartlage then singled toward third, scoring Vincent to put Pikeville up 2-0.

Shawnee State cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the third. With one out, Seth Clement (FR/Kissimmee, Florida) struck out, but reached base as Hartlage allowed a passed ball. Sam Gerhold (SR/Shelton, Washington) walked to move Clement to second, and Clement reached third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dalton Phillips (JR/Hastings, Michigan). With two outs, Levi Jones (JR/Millersburg, Ohio) singled to left field to score Clement and cut the Pikeville lead to 2-1.

SSU then took the lead in the top of the fourth. Chase Thurber (JR/Andover, Ohio) led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a walk from Blake Marshall (JR/Lexington, Kentucky). Casey Claflin (SR/Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) then loaded the bases with a single to left. Christian Helton (JR/Lexington, Kentucky) then grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive in Thurber to tie the game and with one out, Clement also grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Marshall to give Shawnee State a 3-2 lead.

However, the wheels fell off as Pikeville responded with eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jorge Perez singled to lead off the inning, and reached second on a Lubiniecki walk. Hartlage then bunted the runners over with one out, and Travis Haen drove in both runners with a single to right field, giving Pikeville a 4-3 lead.

The damage, however, wasn’t done. Haen advanced to second on a groundout, and got to third on a passed ball. Alec Barba drove in Haen with a single to center to put UPike up 5-3, Nelson Muniz walked to put two men on again, and the bases moved to the loaded variety on an infield single by Matt Peterson. Vincent then got in on the action with a two-run single to right field, driving in Haen and Muniz, and Perez would get his second hit of the inning, this one a two-run double to left center to drive in Peterson and Vincent. Lubiniecki then singled to drive in Perez and drive SSU starter Kyle Wisniewski (FR/Strongsville, Ohio) from the game to cap the scoring in the fourth.

Pikeville would seal the game with two runs in the fifth, and Vincent’s single in the bottom of the seventh to drive in Muniz would give Pikeville a 13-3 win by run rule in the seventh inning.

Bruce Bell picked up the win for Pikeville, striking out eight batters and allowing just four hits in five-and-a-third innings of work. Kyle Wisniewski took the loss, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits in three and two-thirds innings pitched.

The loss drops Shawnee State to 11-12 on the season, and 0-4 in the Mid-South Conference. Pikeville improves to 16-11, and 2-2 in the league.

Friday, March 23

Game 2 — Pikeville 13, Shawnee State 3 (F/8)

Game 3 — Shawnee State 11, Pikeville 4

On Friday afternoon, the Shawnee State baseball program salvaged the series by splitting a pair of bouts with UPike. SSU took the second game by an 11-4 tally over UPike after falling in the first game, 13-3.

Pikeville took an early lead in the first contest as Perez singled to lead off the inning and reached second on Hartlage’s one-out single. Perez then scored on Haen’s single one batter later to give UPike a 1-0 lead on SSU.

Shawnee State responded with a run in the top of the third. Marshall led off the inning with a walk, and Sam Gerhold (SR/Shelton, Washington) then walked with two outs to move Marshall up to second. Dalton Phillips (JR/Hastings, Michigan) then hit a soft grounder toward third, and Haen’s throw to third would go wild, allowing Marshall to score to tie the game at 1-1.

The big inning, however, undid the Bears again in game two of the series, as Pikeville took a commanding lead with 10 runs in the bottom of the third. Muniz reached on a walk, and Peterson singled to left field to put two on. Vincent then doubled down the right field line, scoring Muniz and putting two on with nobody out, Perez hit an infield single toward second, which scored Peterson and putting runners at the corners, and Lubiniecki followed with a double down the left field line to clear the bases as Pikeville established a 5-1 advantage. Hartlage then singled in Lubiniecki.

Pinch runner Brandon Sewell came in and immediately stole second base, and Haen singled to put Sewell on third, which knocked SSU starter Brady Knittel (SR/West Portsmouth, Ohio) out of the game. Relief pitcher Tyler Arthur (SR/Morehead, Kentucky) entered, but JT Boggs (SR/South Shore, Kentucky) committed an error on a double play attempt on Jacob Alverado’s grounder, allowing Sewell to score and putting two men on. Alec Barba then singled to load the bases, and Muniz drove in all three on a single, with Barba scoring on a throw to the wrong base. Vincent then capped the scoring by doubling in Muniz, putting Pikeville up 11-1 after three.

Shawnee State would score a pair in the top of the fourth. With one out, Joseph Campos (FR/Orlando, Florida) singled to left, and Marshall moved him over with a single to center. Casey Claflin (SR/Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) then doubled to deep left field, which scored both runners and cut the Pikeville lead to an 11-3 margin. The game settled down until Shane Williams hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth to give Pikeville a 13-3 run-rule win.

Dalton Dahley got the win for Pikeville, allowing no runs on one hit in four and one third innings of relief, striking out eight. Brady Knittel took the loss, allowing eight runs on 11 hits in two-plus innings.

Shawnee State finally got a big inning of its own in game two by scoring six in the top of the second to take command early. Campos led the inning off with a walk, and reached second on Nelson Muniz’s error on a pickoff move. Marshall and Claflin would then draw back-to-back walks to load the bases.

With one out, Clement (FR/Kissimmee, Florida) was hit by a pitch, which scored Campos and gave SSU the lead. Gerhold would also be hit in the next at-bat, which scored Marshall. That hit by pitch drove Pikeville starting pitcher Jake Hamilton from the game, with reliever Chase Robinson entering. Robinson was unable to stop the bleeding, with Phillips hitting an RBI double off of him to score pinch runner Anthony Nichols (JR/Fargo, North Dakota) and Clement to put SSU up 4-0. Levi Jones (JR/Millersburg, Ohio) then hit another RBI double, scoring Gerhold and Phillips to give SSU the early 6-0 lead.

Shawnee State tacked on three more in the top of the fifth as Marshall led off the frame with a single to left field and reached second on Max Hall’s wild pitch. However, Marshall was tagged out at third on a fielder’s choice by Claflin. Helton, however, would single to put two runners on with one out, and Clement was hit by another pitch to load the bases, which allowed Gerhold to score Claflin on a groundout to first base and Phillips to score Helton and Clement on a single to right field to put SSU up 9-0 after five.

In the seventh frame, SSU put together two additional tallies to round out the scoring as Cameron Broughton (FR/Clermont, Florida), who pinch hit for Claflin, led off the inning with a single to short, and back-to-back singles from Helton and Clement loaded the bases. Gerhold’s fielder’s choice would see Clement forced out at second, but Nichols, who was pinch-running for Broughton, would score. Phillips then hit a sacrifice fly to score Helton and put SSU up by an 11-0 margin. Pikeville scored four in the bottom of the seventh, but their rally would fall well short as SSU salvaged the final game of the three game set.

Zach Straley (FR/Uniontown, Ohio) got the win for Shawnee State, striking out four, allowing no runs, and just one hit in four and one-third innings of work.

Shawnee State exited the three-game series with a 12-13 record on the year and a 1-5 mark in Mid-South play. Pikeville moves to 17-12 and 3-3 in the league.

The Shawnee State baseball program returns to action on Tuesday, March 27 with a single game at Midway (Ky.). First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Shawnee State’s Blake Marshall. State’s Blake Marshall. Submitted Photo

Staff Report