Baseball Season Ends on Marathon Day
Berea, Ky. – A marathon of a day ended the Asbury baseball team’s season in the KIAC Tournament early Saturday morning. The Eagles played three consecutive games on Friday, losing the first and third to Brescia and winning the middle game against Berea.
The first game against Brescia started around 2:30 pm on Friday, a game that the Bearcats won 12-1. Brescia jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first and never looked back. Behind KIAC Pitcher of the Year Patrick Crider’s complete game five-hitter Brescia moved smoothly into the KIAC Playoff Series Championship.
The Eagles only managed five singles in the game, Josh Thigpen had two of them. After a shaky first inning Greg Bowling settled in and gave the Eagles as much as he could, pitching five and a third innings. But nine hits and five walks were too much as he dropped to 5-4 this season. Asbury’s six pitchers walked 12 batters in the game.
Asbury would turn the tables on Berea in game two, jumping on the Mountaineers for six runs in the first. The Eagles pounded out six of their 18 hits in the first as Casey Messner provided a single and a double in the inning. Berea started chipping away at Eagles’ lead by scoring one in the second and two in the third. The Eagles came back with three in the fourth and fifth innings as Berea scored two in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Josh Thigpen stated for the Eagles but couldn’t keep the bases clear walking three and allowing nine hits in four and a third innings. Jon Wes Adams picked up the win (5-1) in relief as he finished off the final four and two thirds innings, allowing only four hits. Evan Thomsen led the offensive outburst with a 4-4 day at the plate with five RBI. Matt Ciolek had three hits as four others had two a piece.
The day’s finale was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday but was pushed up to Friday night due to the impending rain. It started just after 10:30 pm and the final out was recorded at 1:58 am. Asbury took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the second inning but Brescia responded with three runs of their own. Brescia would then tie it at 6-6 in the fourth before taking control of the game in the bottom of the fifth with four runs. Asbury’s pitchers struggled against a very potent offense as three of the four pitchers surrendered at least four runs.
Drew Freeman hit a home run and a double in the game as he finished the season with a team best .435 batting average. Danny Olszowy had three hits including a double in the game and finished with a .374 average. The Eagles scored all seven runs off of Brescia’s starter Nathan Humphrey and couldn’t touch the bullpen. Asbury had only two hits in the three innings pitched by the Bearcats’ relievers.
Despite the disappointing finish to the season for the team, the Eagles 22-28 mark is the fourth best in school history. This is only the fourth team to record 20 or more wins in a season in the program’s 25 years. The Eagles will lose only one senior in Blake Englehardt for next year.