Dayton, Tenn. – In their last four games, the No. 23 Bryan Lions Baseball team have only needed seven innings three separate times to defeat their opponents as they coasted past fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference foe Bluefield College (Va.) 12-2 and 15-5 in two games of their series this past weekend and continued the high intensity play Tuesday night as they topped the Tigers of Hiwassee College (Tenn.) 12-2 to improve to 18-7 overall this season. To put it into perspective, the Lions have outscored their opponents 42-9 through a four-game stretch.
Hiwassee couldn't tame the Lions as Bryan struck early in the bottom of the first to the note of a 7-0 advantage that proved to be too large of a margin for the Tigers to claw their way back to. With two outs, the Tigers walked Langston Calhoun (SR/Berkeley, Calif.) where he eventually took scoring position at third after a single from Justin Morhardt (SO/Winsted, Conn.). Hudson Clare (JR/Jacksonville, Fla.) notched an RBI single and ended up reaching second while Morhardt took third after an error by Hiwassee. Cameron Yoho (JR/Collierville, Tenn.) entered as a courtesy runner for Clare, and used his speed as an edge to trail Morhardt to home after Brookes Jones (JR/Franklin,Tenn.) ripped a single. Jones stole second and reached third after an error by the Tiger's third baseman, while Andrew Urbistondo (SR/Stockton, Calif.) reached first base due to the error. Jesus Astudillo (SO/Caracas, Venezuela) stood his ground and took the hit by pitch to load the bases for the Lions. It was evident that Crandon Wallace (SR/Nassau, Bahamas) was anxious to not leave runners on base, and on the fourth pitch he delivered a monstrous grand slam over the wall of Senter Field to wrap up a 7-0 rally at the end of the first inning.
The Tigers attempted to chip away at the Lions lead in the top of the second, but Hiwassee came away with only one run to make it a 7-1 game. Bryan continued dominating in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs. Evan Speicher (SR/Chattanooga, Tenn.) started with a leadoff single and advanced to second after Preston King (SR/Kingston, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch. Langston Calhoun followed with a ground out to the first baseman, but both Speicher and King took control of second and third. For the fourth time this season, Morhardt cleared the bases with a homerun to extend the Lions lead to 10-1 after four innings.
In the top of the sixth the Tigers battled for one more run, but it was before the Lions added two runs in the bottom of the frame to seal a 12-2 victory. Clare led off with a double, and Yoho took his place as a courtesy runner. A passed ball gave way to Yoho advancing to third, but his stop was short as Urbistondo delivered an RBI single. Urbistondo took second after Astudillo was hit by a pitch and then made his way home for the last run of the game when Speicher notched a single. Bryan outhit Hiwassee 12-6 and turned in two errors compared to their six.
Wallace led the team in the RBI column with four after his remarkable grand slam. Speicher finished with a team-high three hits, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Morhardt, Clare, and Jones each recorded two hits apiece while Morhardt ended with three RBI and two runs scored with one homerun. Hunter Tipton (SR/Taylorsville, Ky.) lasted five innings on the mound for the Lions and surrendered only four hits and one run while striking out one of the 20 batters he faced. Max Chadsey (SR/Chilliwack, British Columbia) relieved for one inning and gave up two hits and one unearned run, while Zane Glass (SO/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) closed out the final inning with one walk and one strikeout.
Holding a 4-2 AAC record, the Lions hit the road on Friday and Saturday for a three-game series against AAC opponent St. Andrews University (N.C.). The Friday game is slated to start at 3pm, and game one on Saturday is scheduled to start at 12pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.