Eagles Blow Late Lead in Split with IUS
WILMORE, Ky. – In a battle of the top two teams in the KIAC Asbury couldn’t gain any ground on Indiana Southeast as the two teams split a pair of games on Friday afternoon. The Eagles had late leads in both games, closing out game one 5-3 before dropping the second game 6-5 in 10 innings.
Asbury (19-8-2, 8-3 KIAC) remains just a single game back of IUS and will take over that spot with a sweep on Saturday. In game one Josh Thigpen turned in arguably his best performance of the year with 4.2 innings of three hit, three run baseball. Thigpen struck out six and walked five.
Drew Freeman picked up his first win of the season in relief and Anthony Palmer got the save after retiring the final two batters.
The Eagles took a 2-1 lead in the third as Evan Thomsen belted his first home run of the season after Casey Messner tripled with two outs. They would go up 3-1 in the fourth as Greg Bowling drove home a run with a single after Matt Ciolek singled to lead off the inning. Ciolek, Bowling, Thomsen and Messner each had two hits, the only hits in the game for the Eagles.
IUS battled back to tie the game in the fifth with a pair of runs, but Asbury responded in the bottom of the inning. Messner and Thomsen singled with two outs and a passed ball squirted along the third base dugout fence allowing Messner to score all the way from second. Ciolek would homer in the sixth to push the lead to 5-3.
Asbury would take a 5-2 lead into the sixth inning but would be unable to answer the bell after IUS tied this game. Jon Wes Adams got the start and allowed only one hit in five plus innings but still allowed three runs. He walked two, hit a batter and struck out five.
The Eagles and Grenadiers traded runs in the first inning as Casey Messner led off the bottom of the first with his first home run of the season. IUS would go on top 2-1 in the third but in the fourth Asbury would tie it again as Jordan Barker knocked in Bowling with a single.
In the fifth Danny Olszowy drove in a run with a single. Asbury would add another run as Olszowy stole second and Tyler Weaver stole home. Matt Ciolek would knock in Olszowy with a sac fly.
IUS would add three in the sixth, the big blow coming as Travis Schroeder doubled down the left field line with the bases loaded. Asbury would have a chance in the bottom of the inning but had a runner thrown out stealing and another picked off.
Asbury would have another opportunity in the ninth with a runner on third with no outs. With Aaron Rowe batting Travis Martin broke for home on a ground ball to short and was thrown out. Brandon Smith would bounce into a double play to end the threat.
IUS would score in the 10th as they pieced together a two-out single and a double. Joey Harness picks up the win in relief, going 3.2 innings of one-hit baseball. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. Anthony Palmer picked up his first loss after 4.2 innings of relief. He gave up four hits, one run and struck out eight.
These two teams will meet for the final time this season on Saturday in another doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 pm.