Pitching Key to Asbury Split with Bethel
MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Asbury baseball picked up their first win of the season in a doubleheader split with Bethel (Tenn.) on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles won game one 3-1 before falling in eight innings in game two, 2-1.
Pitching was the big story on Saturday, and even all weekend where they allowed just 14 runs in four games. Last weekend they gave up 38 runs in four games. The Eagles (1-7) also got some timely hits on Saturday.
Asbury jumped on the Wildcats (5-2) early in game one, scoring twice on three hits in the first inning, all with two outs. Landon Skaggs started the two-out rally with a single down the right field line. Tyler Messner and Simeon Bell followed with singles to load the bases. Jordan Cox reached on a throwing error by the third basemen which allowed the first run to score and Dallas Murphy worked a walk to force in the second run.
Bethel answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first, piecing together a double and a single off of Anthony Palmer. From that point on Palmer (1-1) allowed only one more hit over the next three innings to pick up the win. The senior struck out three and walked one over four innings, giving way to Chad Warner. Warner scattered three hits over two plus innings and Micah pace earned the save with a perfect seventh, striking out two.
The Eagles added their third run in the sixth as Brandon Smith knocked home the insurance run with a one-out bases-loaded fielders choice. Skaggs and Messner each had two hits in the game, accounting for over half of the team’s seven.
Another pitchers duel in game two didn’t go the Eagles’ way despite a great outing by Zach Settle. The freshman allowed five hits in 5.1 innings of work, striking out four and walking just one. Pace (0-1) picked up the loss after surrendering the winning run in the eighth inning on a one-out double to left-center field.
Asbury took the lead in game two, breaking the scoreless tie in the fifth. Andrew Moran knocked in the run with his team-leading fifth RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly. Jordan Cox reached after getting plunked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jared Hahn came on as a pinch runner and moved to third on Dallas Murphy’s single which set the table for Moran. Murphy collected two hits in the game, his first two of the season.
Asbury will hit the road again on Tuesday as they travel to Union (Ky.) on Tuesday for a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm.