Location: Florence, KY (UC Health Stadium)
The Lions (5-1) hosted the Berea Mountaineers (2-12) for a two game set on Tuesday. Game one was all Lions as they routed the Mountaineers for a 19-5 victory. Game two was a pitching duel, but the Mount would finish the game strong, resulting in a final score of 4-1.
How It Happened:
The Lions sent junior Alex Wagner (West Chester, OH / Lakota West) to the mound for game one on Tuesday, and pitched well going 4 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, and 5 strikeouts. Offensively the Lions were a hard unit to stop in game one. After a single and a walk, Jose Bustamante (Austell, GA / South Cobb) would single through the left side bringing home a run. Up next was Ryan Murray (Cincinnati, OH / Colerain), who dropped a bunt, bringing home another run. The Lions hit another single, loading up the bases for Brandon Mueller (Cincinnati, OH / Northwest) who singled for 2 RBI's. The Mount added 4 more runs, totaling 8 for the inning. In the bottom of the 2nd inning the Lions got started with two quick singles. Mueller stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with the team's first home run of the season, plating 3 runs. Darren Sackett (Loveland, OH / Loveland) scored in the inning as well after an error by the Mountaineers shortstop. The 3rd inning was the same story as the Lions would hang a 6 mark on Berea, after a homerun from sophomore Roman Rothwell (Monroe, OH / Monroe), which plated 3 runs. The Lions crossed the plate once more in the 6th inning, bringing the final score to 19-5, and Wagner receiving the win.
Jason Fischer (Cincinnati, OH / Colerain) was given the nod in game 2, going 4 strong innings, 3 hits, 1 run and 6 strikeouts. After 2 innings of scoreless baseball, the Mountaineers would plate a run in the top of the 3rd off a single up the middle. Nathan Hunter (Vevay, IN / Switzerland County) lead off the bottom half with a double to left center, and a bunt from Bustamante placed runners on the corners for Murray. Driving the ball deep to right field gave plenty of time for Hunter to score on the sacrifice fly. The Lions would plate one more run off a throwing error by the Mountaineer's third basemen, bringing the score to 2-1. The Mount would score another run in the 4th after an RBI single from Bustamante. Wyatt Myers (Waynesville, OH / Waynesville) was sent into relief in the top of the 5th and would have a quick 1, 2, 3 inning. In the bottom half, Rothwell would hit an RBI single, bringing the score to 4-1. Myers pitched 2 solid relief innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 strikeouts. Garrett Hogan (Hamilton, OH / Badin) would come into the 7th and pitch to four batters and allow no runs, giving him the save and Fischer the win.
Wagner (2-0) and Fischer (1-1) pitched two great games giving the Lions a great opportunity to win both games. Mueller supported the offense with 5 RBI's in the first game and 1 in the second. Myers relief work was essential in the second game, shutting down Berea's heart of the lineup.
The Lions will head down to Florida for the next week playing a total of 8 games. First game is scheduled at 9:15 AM on the Sunday, the 11th, and another at 12:15 PM that Sunday. Tune into MSJsports.com for all your Lions baseball coverage.