Bryan picks up pair of wins including a top 25 foe
DAYTON, Tenn. – The Bryan College baseball team picked up a pair of wins to open their 2018 campaign, including a thrilling upset of a top-25 foe, as Rivers States Conference opponent the University of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference team 18th-ranked University of Northwestern Ohio fell victim to the Lions in season-opening action on Friday.
First up were the Rio RedStorm, who tried to come-from-behind with a two-run fifth to answer Bryan’s three-run performance in the bottom of the fourth, but the lone rally by the Lions proved good enough to secure the 3-2 win.
While Rio was forced to work through a trio of pitchers, Stephen Chamblee impressed in his Bryan debut as he hurled seven innings, allowing just three hits, a pair of runs, walked three, and retired nine RedStorm players via strikeout in his complete-game effort to collect the win. Lake Burris led the way offensively for the Lions, going 3-of-3 in the contest with one run scored and two runs batted in thanks to his two-run homer launched in the fourth inning. Tyler Scott, the only other Lion to record a multi-hit game, ended 2-of-3 with the other RBI for Bryan. David Scoggins tallied Bryan’s only other hit. The RedStorm caught a break in the fifth frame when two of their batters were hit by pitches and then took advantage of wild pitch to move into scoring position. Eventually, it would be a single and sacrifice fly that would drive in Rio’s two runs in the outing as Bryan cruised for the 3-2 final.
Once again, it was Bryan who jumped on the board first when Burris was hit by a pitch, Scoggins ripped a single, a passed ball advanced them second and third, and Tucker Cain brought Burris in with an RBI single. On the next play, Anthony Tejeda grounded out to short stop, but Scoggins capitalized on the poorly played ball by UNOH to crossed home to make it 2-0. Cain would deal the rest of the damage as he stole third and then scored on a wild pitch to complete a three-run inning.
The Racers broke their silence with one run notched in the third off an RBI double, but the Lions would go on to apply pressure by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the third. Leading off for the Lions was Wade Weinburger who waited patiently before getting a free pass to first as a result of four straight balls. Weinburger used his speed to steal second before Trevor Behrent was walked. Burris, who had already proved to be a threat earlier in the day, was hit by a pitch that loaded the bases. The Racers looked like they might have avoided the situation with another strikeout, but Tucker Cain battled at the plate and handled the full count with confidence as he outlasted the pitcher. The walk for Cain allowed Weinburger to reach home, extending Bryan’s lead to 4-1.
UNOH was able to cut the deficit to one with a two-run bomb smacked in the top of the fourth, closing the gap to 4-3. Neither side could add a run in the fifth, but in the sixth it would be all Bryan as they ended all hope of the Racers with a six-run rally. Jacob Justice got play started for the Lions as he reached base on a single. Unfortunately, Prentice Young would come in for Justice and get out on the next play when Jesus Astudillo hit into a fielder’s choice. Rodney Tennie, who took over running duties for Astudillo, advanced to second on Tyler Scott’s single. Weinburger sent both Tennie and Scott home after letting the count build to 1-1 before sailing a triple into the back fence of Senter Field. Weinburger continued home as Garcia hit a double. Two back-to-back passed balls proved a costly error as the speedy Garcia went to third and then home, scoring the final run of the game to help Bryan to a convincing 8-3 victory.
Luke Henderson, another new face for the Lions on the mound, picked up his first win of the season after working through five innings and allowing just five hits and three runs while walking two and striking out six. Miguel Lopez wouldn’t last an inning as he surrendered a hit and walk, but Zane Glass provided clutch play for Bryan with one inning of work and one strikeout to prevent the Racers from sprinting away with any runs after loading the bases late. Brandon Marklund closed the game, dealing one strikeout in the last frame. Weinburger and Cain both led Bryan in RBI’s with two apiece as both players went 1-of-2 at the plate. Weinburger recorded a triple, Burris and Garcia each produced a double, and the duo of Cain and Weinburger ended with one stolen base, respectively.
Bryan looks to continue to the perfect start to the season as they battle Rio and UNOH one last time on Saturday, Feb. 3 to finish the weekend series.