Eagles Sweep Thorobreds Behind Late Inning Heroics
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury baseball swept Kentucky State on Thursday, 9-6 and 7-6 to even the season series at 2-2. Matt Cox provided the heroics in game two with a walk-off two RBI single. The Eagles have tied their season-high with three straight wins.
Cox had three hits and four RBI in the game, the second most RBI in a game for an Eagle this season. The junior came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out, trailing 6-5. Cox smacked the ball into left field, easily scoring Mitch Watson from third and Brandon Ray came sliding in, just beating the throw, for the game-winning run.
The Eagles (7-20) overcame an early 3-0 deficit as the Thorobreds (6-10) scored three in the first off of Jordan Cox. Cox made his first appearance on the mound this season and settled in after the first. The right hander lasted five innings, allowed five hits, six runs and walked five. The Eagles answered KSU with three runs in the second as Matt Cox drove in two with a double and Logan Crum followed with a double of his own.
The teams traded runs in the third and KSU took control in the fourth with two more. Asbury countered with a run to keep the deficit at 6-5. Asbury’s 10 hits mark the eighth time the Eagles have produced double-digits this season and the second time in three games. Austyn Sailings (1-0) picked up his first career win with two innings of relief. The freshman allowed just a hit and a walk.
In game one the Eagles couldn’t keep the Thorobreds from scoring as KSU crossed the plate in each of the final five innings but Asbury kept the damage at a minimum and held on for the win. The Eagles got on the board first, putting a three spot up in the first inning on just one hit.
Matt Mtichell came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the first and a line drive off his bat was dropped by the right fielder allowing two to score. A balk followed allowing the third run to score. That was par for the course for KSU in the game as they committed five errors which led to six unearned runs.
Two errors in the fifth helped lead to four more runs for the Eagles. Brandon Ray knocked in two in the inning with a single. Asbury also scored on an error and a passed ball. The four-run fifth gave the Eagles an 8-3 lead. Tyler Messner added an RBI double in the sixth, his second hit of the game, to give Asbury an insurance run.
Joey Johnson (1-0) picked up his first win after four innings of five-hit, three-run ball. The freshman struck out five and walked three. After Ian Serrer pitched 2.1 innings in relief, Josh Bertke slammed the door with two on in the ninth. Bertke was summoned with runners at first and second after one run had already scored in the inning. The sophomore struck out the final two batters to pick up his first save.
The Eagles jump into conference action on Friday, hosting No. 6 Point Park. The Pioneers enter their first season in the KIAC this year. Asbury defeated Point Park two of three times in last year’s Unaffiliated NAIA Tournament that gave the Eagles a berth in the NAIA National Touranment.
Friday the teams will try to play three games starting at 11 am to beat the rain on Saturday. They are scheduled to finish the four game set on Saturday.