Eagles Outlasted in 18-Inning Affair, Bounce Back for Split
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury and Berea played an 18-inning marathon in game one, a game that Berea came back to win 6-4 before the Eagles routed the Mountaineers 9-0 in game two. Asbury takes three of the four games during the weekend series.
The 18-inning affair was the longest in school history for Asbury and the longest in the NAIA this year, it was scheduled for only seven innings. Twice in extra innings Berea scored in the top half of the inning only to have the Eagles match them.
Asbury (7-28, 6-6 KIAC) carried a 2-0 lead into in the top of the seventh as Logan Howard turned in six and a third innings of work on the mound. After a one-out walk and single Howard gave way to Anothny Palmer who allowed both runners to score before closing out the inning. In the bottom half the Eagles loaded the bases with no outs and failed to score. A strike out and a botched squeeze attempt followed by another strikeout sent the game into extras.
Micah Pace turned in six innings in relief, allowing only four hits and one run. He was matched by Lance Sheets from Berea who went seven innings in relief, striking out nine and allowing only two hits and one run. Berea used only four pitchers in the game, Cody Mcdaniel picked up the win after pitching the final five innings. The Eagles used seven pitchers and Chad Warner (1-1) took the loss.
Asbury took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Warner hit a sacrifice fly to right and Josh Cummins knocked in a run with a single. Asbury had 13 hits in the game, four coming off the bat of Casey Messner. Messner reached base in his first six plate appearances and finished the game with three walks. Danny Olszowy was the only other Eagle with a multi-hit game, collecting two hits including a double.
In game two the Eagles once again scored twice in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead as Messner doubled in two. Messner added another RBI later in the game with a sacrifice fly. The breakthrough inning for the Eagles came in the fourth, plating four times thanks in large part to two Berea errors. Josh Cummins and Matt Cox each had an RBI single and Tyler Weaver doubled to score two in the inning. Asbury added their final two runs in the sixth as Danny Olszowy singled in two.
Jordan Cox, making his second start of the season, turned in the first complete game shutout for the Eagles on the season. It was only the second complete game after Brad Williams threw one on Friday. Cox, a transfer sophomore, allowed only three hits in the effort and struck out two despite walking four and hitting two batters.
The Eagles are 6-6 in the KIAC and sit in third place, four games behind Brescia who they will host in two weeks. Asbury’s next game will be at Whitaker Bank Park in Lexington (home of the Lexington Legends) as they battle Georgetown College at 4 p.m.