Mon, Mar 05, 2018 - [Baseball]
Photo by: Wesley Sanders
Photo by: Wesley Sanders

DAYTON, Tenn. – A late rally by the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference's top team Madonna University (Mich.) helped the Crusaders overcome an early attack from the Bryan College baseball team on Monday and leave with the 5-4 win and improve to 17-4 overall. The loss for the Lions was only their third setback of the season as their overall record stands at 17-3. 

Madonna claimed the early lead with a solo blast in the top of the second. Lake Burris (JR/Chatsworth, Ga.) answered back for Bryan with his fifth homerun of the year in the bottom of the frame to level the score 1-1.


After shutting down the Crusaders in the third, the Lions clawed their way to their first advantage of the contest in the period as Rodney Tennie (SR/Newnan, Ga.), who ended with a team-high three hits, notched his first of the evening with a successful leadoff bunt. Wade Weinburger (SO/James Cistern, Bahamas) followed and advanced Tennie to second with a single. Both Tennie and Weinburger attempted to steal and while Weinburger came up short, Tennie managed to successfully take scoring position at third. Fernando Garcia (SR/Toa Baja, Puerto Rico) registered the RBI with a sacrifice fly sent to the center fielder and scoring Tennie, providing Bryan with a 2-1 edge.


The Lions had a strong start to the fourth with quick two outs and looked to retire the Crusaders without a run, but a trio of singles and an error allowed Madonna to regain the lead 3-2 after four innings.


Bryan gained momentum in the fifth after they turned a double play and carried it into their hitting as Tennie connected for a single and tallied another stolen bag. With two outs and Tennie on second, the Crusaders fell victim to Garcia who has relentlessly overwhelmed opposing teams with his tenacity at the plate. He watched a ball and a strike be called before making contact with pitch number three and driving it long and high into the center field fence. Madonna's center fielder raced to make a play but couldn't get to the wall in time before it hit and took a large bounce towards left field. Garcia saw the opportunity and took it as he sprinted around second, third, and crossed home for the in-the-park homer! The two-run play aided in another lead change, but this time would be the last for Bryan as they were held scoreless through the latter four innings.


The equalizer for the Crusaders was accomplished in solo style from a leadoff homerun to begin the sixth, making it 4-4. A walk and passed ball put what would be Madonna's winning run at second in the start of the eighth. On the following play, Bryan committed another one of their costly errors that resulted in the runner scoring which proved good enough Madonna as they held on to win 5-4.


Joseph Cuomo (FR/Canton, Ga.) dealt the first 5.2 innings for Bryan and allowed seven hits and four runs, only two earned, with no walks and three strikeouts. Dalton Ross (FR/Statesboro, Ga.) relieved for an out to finish the sixth and had just one walk during his time on the mound. Next up was Zane Glass (SR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) who tossed 1.1 frames and surrendered one unearned run. Another clean slate went to Jesus Astudillo (JR/Caracas, Venezuela) who worked through the final two outs of the eighth. Brandon Marklund (SR/North Vancouver, Canada) closed the last inning and had just one hit come against him. The loss given to Glass marked his first of the year.


Tennie compiled a pair of stolen bases, three hits, and two runs scored. Garcia and Trevor Behrent (SR/Catawissa, Pa.) were the only other Lions to complete a multi-hit outing as each produced two hits, respectively. Garcia led Bryan in the RBI's column with three, had one run scored, doubled, and homered. One of Behrent's hits traveled for a double. Others to gather a hit included Weinburger, Burris, Tucker Cain (JR/Lebanon, Tenn.), and Tyler Scott (SO/Calgary, Alberta). Burris' lone hit traveled over the fence.


Bryan returns to Appalachian Athletic Conference play this weekend as they play host to Bluefield College (Va.) in a three-game series Friday and Saturday, Mar. 9-10. The Lions and Rams get underway on Friday at 5pm and are scheduled to start the twinbill on Saturday at 1pm.


For the full Bryan College Baseball schedule, click here.


Follow the Lions on twitter @BCLionsBaseball and Instagram @bc_lions_baseball.

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