Mount St. Joseph went into the weekend controlling their own destiny as far as making the conference tournament. The Lions were tied for fourth place with Franklin but owned the tiebreaker due to defeating the Grizzlies two out of three times they played this season. Therefore, a sweep of Rose-Hulman would make it impossible for the Lions to miss the HCAC tournament. That is exactly what the Lions accomplished this weekend.
The Lions would send ace Alex Wagner (West Chester, OH / Lakota West) to the mound for game one. Wagner, who had another phenomenal season, would work 7 innings, surrending only 3 hits without giving up an earned run. He would earn his first win of the season.
For the first time this entire season Wagner got some run support. The Lions put up nine runs in the first inning, spotting their ace a huge lead. Nate Hunter (Vevay, IN / Switzerland County) had a big game for the Lions, going 3-4 and knocking in 4 runs for MSJ. Rose Hulman would fight back late in the game but were never in position to make it close as Mount St. Joseph took game one by a score of 12-3.
Austin Richey (Cincinnati, OH / CCD) would toe the rubber for the Lions in game two. Richey would not have his best stuff on Saturday as he would hurl 6 innings for the Lions, giving up 10 hits and 5 runs.
Mount St. Joseph would start extremely slow offensively, putting up zero runs through the first four innings. They were finally able to crack the scoreboard in the fifth inning by putting up one run. MSJ was able to add on two more runs in the sixth inning, making the score 5-3 in favor of the Engineers.
Mount St. Joseph would finally explode in the eighth inning. Nick Browning (Hamilton, OH / Hamilton Badin) led the inning off with a double off the left field wall. After drawing a walk and a hit by pitch, the bases were loaded for Drew Werner (Sunman, IN / East Central) who also got hit by a pitch, bringing the Lions to within one.
Roman Rothwell (Monroe, OH / Monroe) came to the plate next and would scortch the baseball to the shortstop for a fielders choice, tying the game at 5-5. Nate Hunter and Simon Schaefer (Cincinnati, OH / St. Xavier) would come up clutch with back-to-back two-out RBI singles to give the Lions a 7-5 advantage going into the ninth inning.
The bullpen for MSJ would be outstanding in game two. Paul Spaulding (Cincinnati, OH / LaSalle), Malik Zuberi (Cincinnati, OH / Lakota West), and Jacob Gunnell (Fairfield, OH / Fairfield) would combine for three scoreless innings to end the game, with Zuberi earning the win and Gunnell earning the save. Mount St. Joseph would go on to win the game by a score of 7-5.
The Lions would send Zak Farmer (Hamilton, OH / Lakota West) to the mound on senior day looking for the sweep. Farmer would be sensational on the hill, tossing 7 innings and giving up no runs while only allowing 4 hits.
The Lions would get him two runs of support in the third inning, which would be all Farmer would need. They would play add-on in the seventh inning, putting up seven more runs in the inning to effectively put the game out of reach.
Jacob Gunnell and Matt Hofmann (Cincinnati, OH / Elder) would throw the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and close out the game for a 9-0 victory over the Fighting Engineers in game three, earning the Lions the sweep.
LION AT THE PEAK
The Mount St. Joseph senior pitchers were on fire over the weekend. The seniors on the pitching staff combined to allow zero runs over the course of the entire weekend. They would throw a combined 12 innings, giving up zero runs, and allowing just seven hits over the course of the weekend.
The Lions are off until Thursday when they travel to Earlham for the HCAC tournament. Mount St. Joseph will play Manchester on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 PM at Sadler Stadium. Come out and support your Lions!