On a cold, very windy afternoon, Bryan again took to Senter Field for an afternoon double-header. This time the Lions faced a talented Madonna Crusader team from Michigan.
Bryan 11, Madonna 3
Bryan got off to a hot start after, junior outfielder Langston Calhoun laced a fastball off the scoreboard in right center for a 2-run homerun. The Lions would roll from there as starter LJ Rowden would go the distance surrendering just 2 earned runs in 7 innings pitched.
Madonna did take a short-lived 2 run lead in the top of the 3rd inning as a home-run by second baseman Shane Dokey tied the game and right fielder Taylor Grzelakowski singled home short-stop Ryan Lambrecht who had reached on an error. The lead by Madonna wouldn't last however, as Bryan would score 4 in the bottom of the 3rd.
The Lions mounted their 4-run answer in the bottom of the third inning by taking advantage of a Madonna error and a 3-run home-run by designated hitter, CJ Owens. Owens' home-run scored Chris Jeffries, who reached on a single and Langston Calhoun who reached on an error by the Madonna second baseman. Bryan second baseman Cody Rhinehart also doubled in the inning to chase Madonna starting pitcher Evan Piechato.
The Lions would add to their lead in the bottom of the 5th inning, scoring 3 two out runs to put the game in hand. The runs came off of a 2 run double by first baseman Kelvin McMiller and another double by Jeffries set up a fielder's choice groundball by Calhoun to score the final run of the inning. Another run was tacked on by a Rhinehart home-run in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Rowden would surrender a run in the top of the 7th inning following back to back singles and a groundball but the Madonna come-back was stymied by solid Bryan defense. Rowden finished the complete game with 7 innings of work, 5 strikeouts, 8 hits and just one walk.
Bryan 9, Madonna 0
For the second weekend in a row, it looked like a Bryan starting pitcher was going to throw a no-hitter. Lion starting right handed pitcher, Kenny Knudsen threw six innings of no-hit baseball before Madonna first baseman John Lauro spoiled the no-hit bid in the top of the 7th inning with a single to left field. Knudsen however, would complete the shutout, throwing 7-innings, surrendering 1 hit, walking 3 and striking out 12 on a career night.
The Lion offense put the game away with an 8 run, 4th inning in which 12 Bryan hitters would come to the plate. 4 singles, a double, a hit batter and 3 walks in the inning led to the biggest scoring inning of the season for the Lions thus far. 8 of the 9 hitters in the line-up would reach base and score as Madonna sent 3 pitchers to the mound in an attempt to quiet the Bryan attack.
Bryan's offense was paced on the day by senior Chris Jeffries, who had 3 hits including a double, recorded 2 RBI and a run scored. CJ Owens also excelled for the Lions, reaching base in all 4 plate appearances.
The Lions are now 11-1 and return to the field against Taylor University for a Friday double-header followed by a double-header on Saturday against Indiana University – Southeast.