Lions Finish Off Skyhawks With Split, Taking the AAC Series
DAYTON, Tenn. – After their thrilling extra-innings 13-11 walk-off win on Friday afternoon in the series-opener with Point University (Ga.), Bryan College baseball went ahead and sealed the series with a 7-4 victory in game one of Saturday’s twinbill before falling 12-5 in the nightcap. The 10th-ranked Lions jumped to 14-4 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play and 30-9 overall, while the Skyhawks moved to 11-7 in the AAC and 21-17 overall.
The first contest of the day, which was originally the other seven-inning game to be played Friday but was suspended due to rain, saw Point take the early lead with a trio of runs compiled in the top of the first. The first three Skyhawks up to bat were walked, loading the bases with no outs. A single brought in the first run, and a double followed to score two more to help Point claim a 3-0 lead. Dalton Ross relieved Zane Glass prior to the extra-base hit and managed to get the next three outs when Trevor Behrent scooped up a fielder’s choice and got the ball to catcher Cody Young who made the tag at home followed by back-to-back strikeouts from Glass. The Lions’ offense kept the home team in the game by responding with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Behrent led off with a single and was trailed by Wade Weinburger with a single. Both runners advanced on an error by the Skyhawks before Fernando Garcia connected on a two-run single to slim the gap to 3-2.
The second inning passed by with neither side scoring. Point extended their advantage in the top of the third by a lone run when a Skyhawk led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and then scored on the following play while the Lions were busy throwing the ball to second base for the pickoff. Despite falling behind by two runs, 4-2, Bryan bounced back in game-changing fashion as they stormed ahead for a comfortable 6-4 lead in the bottom of the third. Behrent sparked the rally with a leadoff single and was advanced to second on a successful bunt laid down by Weinburger. C. Young came through with another effective bunt for the Lions, reaching first and loading the bases with no outs. Behrent scored the first run of the period when Garcia sent a sacrifice fly sky high to center field. Lake Burris drove in the next two runs with a single, scoring both Weinburger and Prentice Young who entered as a pinch runner. Rodney Tennie put Burris in scoring position at third with a single, helping set up David Scoggins who delivered an RBI double. Tennie nearly tacked on another run for the Lions but was tagged out at home on the play.
Bryan never looked back, shutting out Point through the final four frames while adding on an insurance run in the fifth. Run number seven was notched by Garcia when he belted season homer No. 10 to finish off the Skyhawks 7-4.
Leading the Lions in hits was Weinburger, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Behrent, Garcia, and Tennie each turned in a multi-hit outing with two hits apiece. Behrent scored two runs, Garcia homered and tallied a team-high four RBI, and Tennie corralled Bryan’s only stolen base. C. Young, Burris, and Scoggins made the hit’s list with one, respectively, while Burris compiled two runs batted in and Scoggins doubled with an RBI.
Luke Henderson started on the mound for Bryan and was unable to make it to an out before Point rattled off three runs and three walks. Glass relieved for one play, surrendering one hit, as he turned the duties over to Ross who got the win after handling three innings while allowing two hits and one run with three K’s. Ross moved to 3-1 on the year. Jesus Astudillo closed the final four frames in a convincing manner, as the Skyhawks scraped up a mere two hits and no runs with one walk and four strikeouts.
A continuous attack by Point is what helped them outlast Bryan in the series finale. The opening frame was the only inning left scoreless in the contest, but the Skyhawks soared on the board in the top of the second with a pair of runs. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, but instead of grabbing the last out the Lions walked the next two batters to give Point a free pair of runs. Garcia led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, Scoggins was walked, and Anthony Tejeda hit a single to set up a similar scenario. Instead of handing over a run with two outs, the Skyhawks secured the last out to end the threat.
The 2-0 difference grew to 3-0 in the top of the third following a walk, sac-bunt, stolen base, and RBI single. The margin continued to grow as Point pieced together a run in the fourth. The first batter reached base on a Bryan throwing error and ended up on third because of the mishap. All it took was a groundout to score the run, resulting in a 4-0 lead for the Skyhawks.
After shutting down Point in the top of the fifth, Bryan went to work for their first runs of the game in the bottom of the frame. Behrent was hit by a pitch and didn’t stay on base long before Weinburger crushed his 11th homerun of the year, matching Burris for the most on the team, closing the separation to 4-2.
Unfortunately, the Lion’s defense was unable to build off the momentum, as the Skyhawks’ bats got hot in the top of the sixth. Two singles were followed by a two-run double. A wild pitch allowed a runner to take third, but that wouldn’t matter as the next batter launched a two-run shot for an 8-2 advantage.
Tennie motivated Bryan in the bottom of the sixth by scoring a run all by himself. He began with a leadoff single, stole second, stole third, and then capitalized on a wild pitch. Jacob Justice and Tyler Scott followed with two straight doubles, adding another run to the board for the Lions, making it an 8-4 ballgame.
Point came up empty in the seventh, only the third time of the game, as C. Young countered for Bryan and registered his seventh bomb of the season to leadoff the bottom of the inning for the Lion’s last run of the game.
The Skyhawks furthered their advantage with a trio of runs in the eighth following a pair of singles, a successful bunt, a stolen base, and a Lion error. Point ended the outing with a definitive run in the ninth scored on a wild pitch after the runner had singled and stolen both second and third base for a 12-5 final.
Arinson Martinez fell to 4-2 after acquiring the loss, hurling 5.33 innings with six hits and seven runs with one unearned amassed. Martinez also walked six and struck out three. Glass relieved for two plays and surrendered one hit and one run with one walk. Joseph Cuomo ended the last 3.67 frames with six hits and four runs, one unearned, while walking one and striking out four.
- Young and Garcia were the only Lions to record two hits. C. Young ended with an RBI and a homerun, and Garcia doubled. Weinburger also sent a shot over the fence, going 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Justice and Scott both doubled on their lone hits of the game with Scott producing the other RBI for Bryan. While Tennie and Tejeda also aided with one hit apiece, Tennie dealt most of his damage on his base running as he gathered four stolen bags.