Berea, KY- Baseball returned to the diamond this afternoon searching for their first win of the season as they opened the home portion of their schedule at the Berea College Sports Complex. With potential storms threatening throughout the day, the weather cooperated as the Mountaineers were able to play a doubleheader as scheduled against the visiting Johnson University Royals.
Berea came to the plate in the bottom of the first inning trailing 1-0 after a RBI single by the Royals. Josh Wilson, the first batter for the Mountaineers, hit a single to get on base, making his way to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Blevens. Ron Overstreet's RBI single tied the game as Wilson used his speed to make it to home plate. The teams headed to the second inning tied 1-1. After quick work on defense in the beginning of the second inning, the offense exploded for seven runs, starting with Joshua Works' RBI which scored Nicholas Bottom to give Berea a 2-1 lead. Wilson's single brought in another run, this time scoring Caleb Gupton as the score moved to 3-1. With the bases loaded, Dallas Adkins recorded two RBIs off his deep single, as Works and Wilson scored to give the Mountaineers a 5-1 lead. William Hislope's sacrifice fly pushed Blevens to home plate before a triple by Bottom scored Overstreet and Adkins for the last two runs of the inning, giving Berea a 8-1 lead.
After a Johnson University run in the third inning, the Mountaineers gave themselves more of a cushion in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Bottom's double put the ninth run on the board as Overstreet crossed home plate before an Andrew Akins single made the score 10-1 for Berea as Hislope scored. The advantage for the Mountaineers moved to 11-1 when Bottom scored on Wilson's second RBI single. Wilson recorded his game-high third RBI in the bottom of the sixth, helping Berea win their first game of the season, 12-4. Matthew Wilburn earned the win for the Mountaineers, pitching four innings and giving up seven hits, four runs (three earned) to go along with three strikeouts. Zach Withers came in in relief, going three innings while giving up one hit and dishing out two strikeouts and a walk. Wilson led the way at the plate for Berea, going 4-5 with three RBIs and scoring two runs. Bottoms (3) and Adkins (2) also finished with double-digit RBIs while Overstreet, Hislope, Akins and Works all finished with one. The home team used 17 hits to score 12 runs.
The hot bats extended into the second game as Blevens quickly made his way to third base on a throwing error as he was trying to steal second after a hit by pitch. Bottom's RBI single allowed Blevens to open the scoring at 1-0. A Gupton single and Akins ground out brought two more runs to the plate, moving the score to 3-0. Hislope and Works connected the bat to the ball to bring in two more Mountaineers to give Berea a 5-0 advantage as the teams went to the next inning. After making quick work of the three batters of the Royals, Overstreet's 2-RBI double scored Bottom and Blevens to make the score 7-0. Berea's lead soon moved to nine as Adkins and Overstreet scored as the inning came to a close. Excellent pitching from Wilson, who collected his first win of the season, Joshua Durbin and Tyler Pope stymied Johnson University's offense, as they held the visitors scoreless and only gave up three hits. Works' run off a Bottom single put the Mountaineers in double-digits for the second straight game, as they went on to win the game 10-0. Bottom finished as the leader at the plate in the game, finishing 3-4 with one run scored and two RBIs. Three other players (Overstreet, Akins, and Hislope) finished with two RBIs as well to go along with a RBI from Gupton and Works. The team scored 10 runs on 12 hits. Wilson threw four strikeouts while Durbin threw three.
Berea's (2-3) next game takes place on the Berea College Sports Complex when they welcome Goshen College to the diamond for a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 3:00 PM with the second slated to begin at 5:00 PM.