AUBURNDALE, FL - The Mount St. Joseph Lions traveled down to Florida to kick off their annual Russ Matt Invitational trip on Sunday, March 10th. The Lions faced off against the Red Devils of Dickinson College in a doubleheader in their first day at the tournament. The Lions would go on to split the games, earning a 6-1 win in game one, and losing game two 0-6.
Senior, Alex Wagner (West Chester, OH / Lakota West), started the game on the mound for The Mount. Wagner faced 22 batters during his 5.2 innings pitched. He would only allow 4 hits and 1 run, while striking out 8 Red Devils.
Both teams would remain scoreless heading into the 4th inning, that's when The Lions would gain some offensive power. The Lions would score two runs off of an Ian Mustard (Kings Mills, OH/ Kings) single. Mustard would go on to score himself, earning the last run of the 4th inning, off of a wild pitch thrown by the Red Devils. The 5th inning would bring in one more run for The Lions as Brandon Shelton (Cincinnati, OH / Northwest) singled to center, earning an RBI and allowing Roman Rothwell (Monroe, OH / Monroe) to score. Dickinson's only run came off of Wagner's final pitch in the top of the 6th inning before Wyatt Myers (Waynesville, OH / Waynesville) took over on the mound, facing off against one batter, allowing a popup to end the 6th inning for The Lions. In the bottom of the 6th inning The Lions would earn two more runs, senior Simon Schaefer (Cincinnati, OH / St. Xavier) would hit his first homerun of the season. Garrett Hogan (Hamilton, OH / Badin) would close the game for The Lions pitching in the 7th inning. Hogan would face three batters, only allowing one hit that was singled out to left field.
The Lions were able to record their first win of the season while on the road as they ended game one with a 6-1 victory over the Red Devils of Dickinson College.
The Lions would hoped to continue earning runs as they entered their second game of the day against the Red Devils, however it wasn't meant to for The Mount. The Lions would go through a rotation of pitchers as the Red Devils became an offensive powerhouse in the second game.
Jason Fischer (Cincinnati, OH / Colerain) would get the call to the mound to start the game off for The Lions. Fischer would pitch 4.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 1 run to score while recording 8 strikeouts. Jacob Hughes(Cincinnati, OH / LaSalle) would relieve Fischer to close out the bottom of the 5th inning. The Lions were unable to control the Red Devils offense as the Red Devils went on to score 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning while The Lions rotated between Wyatt Myers and Brandon Shelton before Lukas Palmieri (Fairfield, OH / Fairfield) was able to earn one strikeout to record the last out of the inning.
The Mount was unable to find their offensive stride like they had in the first game as they dropped game two 0-6, resulting in a split in day one of the Russ Matt Invitational. The Lions continue play in the Russ Matt Invitational on Tuesday, March 12th against Central (Iowa). Continue to check out MSJSports.com for more updates on The Lions as they continue play down in Florida and the rest of the 2019 season!