After the Lions split their Florida opener with Daniel Webster on Sunday they would look to steal a game from Western New England on Tuesday. Mount St. Joseph would call on sophomore starting pitcher Nick Gunnell (Hamilton, OH / Fairfield) to get the Lions back on track.
Gunnell did not have his best stuff on Tuesday. He would end up giving the Lions 4 innings of work, allowing seven hits and four runs. The Mount St. Joseph offense started hot as well, and when Gunnell would be removed from the game the score would be tied at 4-4.
Gunnell would give up a solo home run in the second inning but the Lions would bounce back and have a huge second inning of their own, scoring three runs. The inning started with one out when Roman Rothwell (Monroe, OH / Monroe) singled to give the Lions a baserunner. A few batters later an error by Western New England would allow the inning to continue. That is when freshman centerfielder Kyree Hawkins (Smyrna, GA / South Cobb) blasted a triple to right field, scoring the first two runs of the games for Mount St. Joseph. The next batter, Simon Schaefer (Cincinnati, OH / St. Xavier), would also reach on an error and Hawkins would score to put the Lions up 3-1.
After WNE scored their second run in the top of the third inning Mount St. Joseph would add on another run of their own in their half of the third inning. Nathan Hunter (Vevay, IN / Switzerland County) would lead off the third for the Lions and would single to center field. Zak Farmer (Hamilton, OH / Lakota West) would follow that up with a single of his own to center field. Roman Rothwell would strike again, sending a single through the left side and scoring Hunter and pushing the Lion lead to 4-2.
After Nick Gunnell would give up a run and allow the first three batters of the fifth inning to reach he would be lifted from the game. Jacob Gunnell (Hamilton, OH / Fairfield) would come in to relieve him and would get out of the inning, giving up only one more run (charged to N. Gunnell).
With the score tied at 4-4 in the seventh inning WNE was able to pick up a huge two-out base hit to score their fifth run of the game. J. Gunnell would finish the inning, completing three innings of work for the Lions and allowing only two hits and one run. Zak Farmer would pitch a scoreless eighth inning followed by a scoreless ninth inning by Matt Hoffman (Cincinnati, OH / Elder). However, the Lions were unable to push any more runs across the plate and would end up falling to Western New England 5-4.
LIONS AT THE PEAK:
Roman Rothwell and Kyree Hawkins were the two sparkplugs for the Mount St. Joseph offense on Tuesday. Rothwell was able to collect three hits in four at-bats, adding an RBI and a walk to his stat-line. Hawkins was able to go 2-4 including a triple, two RBIs, and a run scored.
The Lions bounce right back with day three of Florida baseball on Wednesday. They will battle the Thunder of Trine University with the first pitch scheduled for 3:15 PM.