Berea, KY- A three-game series over a two day period began for the Berea College baseball team this evening as they returned home after a doubleheader road game. The team opened the series against the Transylvania University Pioneers at the Berea College Sports Complex.
The game, which turned into a pitching duel between the two teams, began with a little bit of trouble for the Mountaineers. Two walks put runners on first and second with two outs on the board. Starting pitcher Griffen Norris got rid of the threat as the next batter flied out to end the inning. Strong pitching from Norris in the top of the second inning with two runners on base kept the score at a scoreless tie as he struck out the last two batters to move the game to the next inning. The first hit for Berea came in the bottom of the second as Andrew Akins recorded a single before the third out occurred.
The offensive struggles continued as the pitching duel caused difficulty for both teams, causing a period of no hits from the bottom of the third inning through the top of the eighth inning. The visiting Pioneers threatened with a walk and single, putting runners on first and third with two outs in the inning. The defense for the Mountaineers held Transylvania off the board though as first baseman Ron Overstreet made the final out of the inning with the help of pitcher Joshua Durbin. The offense for Berea finally broke through the pitching of the Pioneers in the bottom of the eighth inning.
After a ground out of the first batter, Durbin made his way to first base via a walk, shortly advancing to second on a stolen base. Joshua Works came up to the plate with two outs in the inning and hit a ground ball to the shortstop and made it safely on base on an error, putting the first run on the board as Durbin crossed home plate. Works scored off the next hit by Josh Wilson, a double which put him in scoring position as Ryan Blevens came to the plate. Blevens hit the second consecutive double, allowing Wilson to easily make it to home plate as the Mountaineers pulled ahead 3-0. Tyler Pope came to the mound in the ninth, earning his first save of the season as Berea made three straight outs to end the comeback attempt by Transylvania and winning by a final score of 3-0.
Wilson, Blevens and Akins led the way at the plate for the Mountaineers, each finishing with one hit. RBIs in the game came from Works, Blevens and Wilson. Norris pitched an excellent game, giving up four hits and no runs while striking out five while Durbin (1-1) gets the credit for the win. The pitchers combined to strike out eight batters. Berea moved to 3-9 on the season with the victory.
The next two games of the series between the two teams were scheduled to occur on Saturday were moved back to Sunday as snow is expected, allowing time for improved field conditions. The first game of the doubleheader against the Pioneers starts at 12:00 PM. Live stats can be seen here.