Dayton, Tenn. – On Friday, Feb. 19, Bryan College Baseball took to Senter field after a week hiatus to face off against WHAC opponent, Cornerstone University (Mich.).
Game 1: Bryan 7, Cornerstone 4
In game 1 of the Friday doubleheader, lefthander LJ Rowden (SR/Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) toed the rubber for the Lions and helped cruise the Golden Eagles to seven scoreless innings before giving up four earned runs in the eighth. He had support as the Lions struck first, as two hit batters and an Urbistondo single scored Rhinehart for an early 1-0 Bryan advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Lion offense began to come alive. Evan Speicher (SR/Chattanooga, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single and Langston Calhoun (SR/Berkeley, Calif.) took the first pitch and ripped a two run homerun over the fence, the second this season, extending Bryan's lead to 3-0. Dannon Grubb (FR/Rockwood, Tenn.) followed with a single and then advanced to second on a wild throw. A ground out by Justin Morhardt (SO/Winsted, Conn.) put Grubb in scoring position at third. Preston King (SR/Kingston, Tenn.) gave the Lions a 4-0 lead by scoring Grubb on a groundout.
With two outs to start the bottom of the sixth inning, Andrew Urbistondo (SR/Stockton, Calif.) took first base after being hit by a pitch and then moved onto second after a balk. Speicher advanced Urbistondo to third with a single. Another wild throw allowed Speicher to take second. Calhoun withstood the pressure and knocked in two runs with a weighty single, giving the Lions a 6-0 edge over the Golden Eagles.
Cornerstone countered in the top of the eighth, lighting up Rowden with four singles and a double for four runs before Brandon Marklund (SO/North Vancouver, Canada) entered the game to finish out the inning.
It was all Crandon Wallace (SR/Nassau, Bahamas) in the bottom of the eighth as he tacked on another run for the Lions. He doubled during his at-bat and then advanced to third on a stolen base. A wild throw gave him a window of opportunity, and he recorded the last run of the game as Bryan overwhelmed Cornerstone 7-4.
Rowden allowed seven hits and four runs and struck out five. Jose Hernandez (SR/Perth Amboy, N.J.) had a clean slate in the top of the ninth with one hit and two strikeouts. Calhoun led all players with three hits and led with four RBI's. Speicher was the only other Lion to register at least two hits.
Game 2: Bryan 12, Cornerstone 5
Chad Burrows (JR/Nassau, Bahamas) struck out the first two Golden Eagles and the other player flied out in the top of the first as the Lions took control in the bottom half. Bryan loaded the bases with a Calhoun single, bunt and wild throw, and a walk. King smacked a sacrifice fly, scoring Calhoun for the first run of the game. Another walk loaded the bases for the second time. Cornerstone walked with bases loaded, scoring Speicher and giving the Lions a 2-0 lead after the first.
A triple and a single to begin the top of the fourth put the Golden Eagles on the board for the first time of the game. An RBI single scored a man on third and leveled the score 2-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brookes Jones (JR/Franklin,Tenn.) reached first on a walk and then worked his way to third on a successful bunt by Urbistondo. A sac-fly from Calhoun scored Jones. Speicher, standing at a 1-1 count, took the next pitch and sent it over the fence for his first homerun of the season, scoring two runs in the process to put Bryan back on top, 5-2.
An RBI single in the top of the fifth, an RBI single in the sixth, and a passed ball in the sixth summed up the final runs scored by Cornerstone. Bryan made a statement in the bottom of the sixth inning. Calhoun singled and ended up scoring on a wild throw. Morhardt scored Speicher on an RBI single. Grubb doubled and scored pinch runner Prentice Young (JR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.). An RBI single by Jesus Astudillo (SO/Caracas, Venezuela) scored Landon Mosteller (FR/Clarksville, Tenn.), who was pinch running for Grubb. Cornerstone walked Urbistondo with bases loaded, surrendering a score to Cameron Yoho (JR/Collierville, Tenn.). Calhoun ripped a double, scoring Wallace and Jones. In the sixth, the Lions added seven runs on six hits to propel past the Golden Eagles, 12-5.
Calhoun led the team in hits (3) and RBI (3). Speicher finished with two RBI after his two-run bomb, and he scored three runs. Calhoun and Brookes both scored two runs apiece. Burrows pitched four innings and gave up five hits and two runs, but he recorded eight strikeouts. Travis Moore (JR/Hastings, Mich.) notched three strikeouts while allowing three runs scored. Hernandez and Jared Breazeale (JR/Rockwood, Tenn.) managed to keep Cornerstone from reaching home plate in the short time on the mound.
Game 3: Bryan 10, Cornerstone 5
The high intensity play from Bryan carried into their play on Saturday as they posted 10 runs against Cornerstone in a 10-5 victory in the first game of the day. Three runs came in the bottom of the first when King RBI singled to score Speicher, Grubb RBI singled to score Yoho, and a passed ball ended with King at the plate.
One of Cornerstone's brightest moments came in the top of the second when a Golden Eagle swatted a two-run homerun to cut Bryan's lead to one, 3-2. An RBI single in the top of the third scored a runner on third to even the score out 3-3.
Rhinehart chipped in another run for Bryan, creating a 4-3 advantage after grounding out and scoring King who was on third. Wallace led off the start of the fourth with a double and then advanced to third after a groundout by Jones. Wallace took advantage of a wild pitch and added one more run to the margin, 5-3.
King scored in the bottom of the fifth from a Grubb single, and Rhinehart trailed just behind with another run coming from a misplayed grounder by a Golden Eagle.
Urbistondo made his way around the bases in the bottom of the sixth by reaching first on a walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch, and taking home after another wild pitch. Later in the inning, King scored Speicher from third base with a sacrifice fly and put the Lions up 9-3.
Two more runs were added by Cornerstone with another two-run homer in the top of the seventh, cutting the difference to four runs, 9-5. Bryan countered with one last run in the bottom of the seventh from Wallace who reached base on a walk, stole second, and then scored from a Jones double to make it 10-5.
Chris Sauve (JR/Mascouche, Quebec) fashioned nine hits and five runs in six innings pitched and fired seven strikeouts and no walks. Brandon Marklund, Zeke Colby (SR/Chico, Calif.), and Tristan Legault (FR/Mascouche, Quebec) remained spotless in the final innings as each player recorded one strikeout, respectively. Morhardt, King, and Grubb each had a multi-hit outing while King and Grubb aided with two RBI's apiece. King led the team with three runs scored and was followed by Speicher and Wallace who each had two runs scored. Bryan cashed in seven stolen bases to Cornerstone's three.
Game 4: Bryan 1, Cornerstone 0
A pitching duel was the story of the final game of the series as Francisco Colon pitched a complete game two hitter in a 1-0 victory. The Golden Eagles notched their two hits as a double in the second and a bunt in the fourth. The Lions could only muster up one hit off the opposing pitcher. In the bottom of the fifth, Hudson Clare (JR/Jacksonville, Fla.) reached first on a walk. Yoho went in as a pinch runner and took full advantage of a wild pick-off throw to sprint his way to home plate for a 1-0 edge over Cornerstone.
Calhoun was the only Lion to record a hit. Colin pitched seven innings, gave up a mere two hits, walked two, and ended with five strikeouts.
Bryan Lions Baseball improve their overall record to 9-3 with the series sweep against the first unranked opponent they've seen this season, Cornerstone University, and they remain undefeated at home (8-0).
Tuesday's game against Martin Methodist has been postponed, but the Lions baseball team is in action again on Friday, Feb. 26, in a doubleheader against Saint Xavier University (Ill.) with the first game at 3pm and another doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 27, against the No. 17 University of Northwestern Ohio starting at 1pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.