BEREA, KENTUCKY: The Berea College Mountaineer baseball team kicked off their baseball season at the BC Sports Complex in Berea Kentucky on February 20th, losing both of their games against their NCAA D3 opponent Mount Saint Joseph University by scores of 5-7 and 9-10 (10 innings).
The Mountaineers got off to a good start in the first game, taking a 5-1 lead behind good offensive efforts by senior Tyler Plageman (1-2, RBI) and junior Ron Overstreet (1-2). Evan Hackney, Dallas Adkins, and Chris Works also added runs batted in as the Mountaineers settled in behind their starting pitcher in Lance Shelton. Unfortunately, pitcher Jacob Gunnell of the Mount St. Jo Lions shut the Mountaineers down, and Shelton (4.1 IP, lost his command in the fifth inning, giving up 6 runs, and leaving the game with the Mountaineers losing what looked to be a surely won game. Cord Glass came in and finished the game on the mound for Berea, but was unable to get any offensive help in the last four innings, as BC lost their first game of the season by a score of 5-7.
Game two of the doubleheader was hopefully going to be better for Berea, as they sought to even the score against MSJ behind their starting pitcher in junior Chad Brown (3.1 IP, 6H, 4 ER, 2 SO). Brown was unable to keep the Lions in their den early on, giving up a quick 3 runs in the first inning. The Mountaineers responded in the third and fourth innings, putting up 3 runs in each to pull ahead 6-4 over the Lions. Brown was relieved by Zach Roberson, who pitched a shutdown 1.2 innings, and placing himself in a solid spot to win the 9 inning game. The Lions sprung back against pitcher Matt Wilburn, who gave up 3 runs, (2 ER) and left with the Mountaineers losing by one. Berea came back to scratch one more run across the board in the 9th, sending the game into extra innings. Berea's Michael Smither came in and threw strikes, but the Mountaineer defense broke down, allowing three runs on three errors, and creating a 10-7 deficit for BC to overcome. The Mountaineers were able to sneak two across the plate in the 10th, but came up short and lost to the lions 9-10 in ten innings in their season opening games.