Baseball Unable to Avoid Road Sweep at Truett
CLEVELAND, Ga. – The 14th-ranked Bryan College baseball team picked up their first Appalachian Athletic Conference losses of the season on Thursday when Truett McConnell University outlasted the Lions 6-3 and 4-3, lowering Bryan’s overall record to 15-6 and conference mark to 3-2. The Bears improved to 11-7 overall and remain perfect in the AAC at 5-0. Game three between the two teams is still to be determined.
The Lions ended with six left on base compared to the Bears’ 10 stranded. The only time Bryan was able to capitalize in game number one was in the top of the fourth when Jacob Justice delivered his third connection of the season over the fence in the form of a three-run homer to score both Destine Udombon and Lake Burris. The 3-0 lead wouldn’t last long, as Truett rallied for three runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the contest 3-3. The Bears took advantage of two hits and two errors committed by the Lions to deadlock the score.
A two-run single down the left field line in the bottom of the fifth allowed Truett to gain a 5-3 edge before tacking on an insurance run in the eighth when a walk and single moved the runner to second prior to an RBI single to tally the last score of the game.
The Bears outhit the Lions 7-4 and had the edge in errors 0-3. Justice led Bryan with one homerun and three RBIs on his lone connection. Parker Cosby, Logan Peterson, and Hakeem Stargell each had one hit in the bout. Joseph Cuomo was awarded his first loss of the season after dealing 4.2 innings and allowing three hits, five runs with one unearned, totaling three walks and seven strikeouts. Dalton Ross relieved the next 3.1 frames, surrendering four hits and one run to go along with two walks and seven K’s.
The nightcap was a defensive duel, with the Lions managing just six hits while holding the Bears to only four with neither side committing an error. Both teams ended with five players left on base, respectively, and were unable to score in the last five innings. The game was decided in the first two stanzas with the Lions striking first in the top of the opening frame. Gabe Howell set the tone with a leadoff homerun in the first at-bat of the game, marking his fifth homer on the year. Cosby was hit by a pitch, Burris reached on a walk, and Wade Weinburger made it to first base on a successful bunt to load the bases with no outs. The first out came on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Justice, scoring Cosby for run number two. Tyler Scott kept the rally going with an RBI single to left, bringing Burris back home to gain a 3-0 lead.
Truett countered in the bottom of the inning, beginning with a walk and hit by pitch. A fielder’s choice resulted in a runner taking scoring position at third. A single brought in the Bears’ first run of the game, making it a 3-1 Lions’ lead.
The game-changing stretch by Truett was in the bottom of the second, which started with a walk and triple to cut the deficit to one, 3-2. The next batter swatted an RBI single to center, tying the count 3-3. Another triple was all the Bears needed to go in front 4-3 where they remained for the duration of the contest.
Weinburger led Bryan going 2-for-3 while Howell made his one connection count with a homerun. Burris, Scott, and Tucker Cain also turned in a one-hit performance. Ernesto Romero was handed his first loss of the season after hurling the opening 1.1 innings with the Bears posting four hits and four runs while walking twice and striking out once. Stephen Chamblee oversaw a hitless and scoreless 4.2 innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Bryan will try to put the losses behind them and face the challenging week ahead where the Lions play host to 4th-ranked Georgia Gwinnett College on Tuesday, Mar. 12 in a single game beginning at 5pm before ending the week with a two-day three-game series with 2nd-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan University. The Lions will face-off with their conference rival in one game on Friday, Mar. 15 at 5pm and will wrap up the series with a twinbill the following day, Saturday, Mar. 16 with the first pitch set for 1pm.
To view the full 2019 Bryan baseball schedule, click here.
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