Bears drop 8-5 decision to Buffaloes in rubber match

Despite a pair of multi-hit performances from Damion Coleman and Kyle Gammon, the baseball program at Shawnee State wasn’t able to obtain victory in its third and final contest of the weekend against Milligan (Tenn.) as the Bears fell to the Buffaloes, 8-5, in a nine-inning nonconference contest that was held in Johnson City, Tenn. on Sunday.

In the third game of the series, SSU was forced to climb out of an early hole as Milligan obtained a two-out RBI double from William Oliver in the bottom of the second frame and a RBI single from Juan Vasquez, along with a RBI double from Chance Hall, allowed the Buffaloes to extend the lead to a 3-0 count after three innings of work.

The game remained at a 3-0 margin until the fifth inning of work, when the Bears obtained a leadoff single from Gammon who later advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a single by George Duran. Jacob Kline’s free pass then allowed Gammon to score, which cut Milligan’s lead to a 3-1 margin with the bases loaded and one away in the fifth frame of action.

However, a strikeout and a flyout spoiled Shawnee State’s chances to tie the score, and in the bottom of the fifth frame, Milligan pounced with a pair of runs to add to its advantage. Vasquez’s triple to right field was followed by another RBI double from Hall, and Kirby Smith posted an RBI double of his own to push the Buffaloes out to a 5-1 advantage.

In the seventh, Coleman’s double moved Duran to third base, which allowed Kline to score Duran on an RBI groundout to cut the margin to a 5-2 gap, but Milligan answered with a three-run bottom half as a two-RBI double from Smith and a RBI single from Will Findley allowed the Buffaloes to take a 8-2 lead.

Coleman posted a bases-clearing RBI double in the eighth inning to cut Milligan’s lead to 8-5, but SSU got no closer as Milligan’s Deaglan Malally, who came on in relief with two outs in the eighth frame, only allowed one hit in an inning-and-a-third of work to shut the door on the Bears’ comeback chances.

For the contest, Coleman’s 2-for-2 day at the plate with two doubles and three RBI, along with Gammon’s 2-for-4 outing with two runs scored and Kline’s 1-for-4 performance that included a double and two RBI, led SSU offensively. Duran (1-for-3, two runs scored), Noah Brock (1-for-3), Danny McGuire (1-for-4), Cameron Reaman (1-for-4, run scored) and Levi Jones (1-for-5) rounded out the Bears’ offensive showing.

Shawnee State (1-10) will take on Concordia (Mich.) in a four-game set on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The first doubleheader begins on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Branch Rickey Park.

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