SSU baseball drops pair to Cardinals

Shawnee State finished its weekend series with the Concordia Cardinals Sunday afternoon. Coming off a pair of close losses in its home opener on Saturday, the Bears looked to rebound and walk away with a series split. However, the Bears were unable to claim a victory, losing the first matchup 21-7 and dropping Game 2 by a 7-1 margin.

Game 1

The visiting Cardinals jumped out to an early lead in the first game of the doubleheader, plating nine runs in the first two frames.

However, SSU proved to be plenty capable of scoring runs. Shawnee State’s walk-to-strikeout ratio ended up being 2.66-to-1 in the first affair, and the Bears ended up with 10 hits as a team. George Duran and Danny McGuire tallied two hits apiece to lead the team, while John Salyers picked up two RBIs in his pinch-hit appearance. Salyers’ double was the only one in the game for the Bears, and helped him lead the team in RBIs for the game.

Game 2

The final contest of the four-game weekend set started out in a much more promising fashion for Shawnee State, as the Bears plated the game’s first run following a RBI single by Cameron Reaman that scored George Duran from second base in the opening frame of action.

While Shawnee State initial run was answered by an RBI double from Adam Purdy, the Bears remained right in the thick of the battle due to a strong relief effort by Marty Knittel. The sophomore came on in relief in the first inning, and was able to throw five full innings of one run baseball. Knittel allowed five hits, struck out three, and didn’t walk anyone during his outing.

However, Concordia took control in the top of the sixth by scoring six runs to make the difference in this one. A pair of errors in the inning, along with four base hits — including a big fly from Vann Acker that put the Michigan-based program in front — gave the Cardinals the boost that they needed. Reaman and Jacob Kline tallied four of SSU’s five hits with Reaman having the lone RBI in the last game of the series.

Shawnee State will look to rebound with back-to-back home conference contests against Ohio Christian and Cincinnati-Clermont Tuesday and Wednesday at Branch Rickey Park. SSU plays OCU at 2 p.m. Tuesday while the Bears face Cincinnati-Clermont Wednesday at 1 p.m.

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