Lake Point, Ga. – The Bryan College Lions Baseball team extended their win-streak to four after taking both games against the Screaming Eagles of Toccoa Falls College (Ga.) on Wednesday. In game one, Bryan and Toccoa Falls were leveled 1-1 through six innings. After the Screaming Eagles came up empty in the top of the seventh inning when Zane Glass (JR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) retired two via strikeout and another by flying out, the Lions were given the opportunity to seal the win in the bottom of the frame and did just that. With one out and runners on third and first, Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.) waited patiently as the count grew to 3-0. The fourth pitch was just what he wanted as he came around and grabbed the ball, launching it way over the fence for his first career walk-off homerun, giving Bryan the 4-1 victory in game one. The second game came down to the bottom of the third inning, when CJ Owens (SR/Oakland, Calif.) delivered his second homer of the season to cap a four-run effort in the frame that proved good enough to hold off Toccoa Falls in game two, 6-4.
The Screaming Eagles were the first to get on the board in the opening game of the doubleheader with a solo-shot in the top of the third. The Lions responded in the bottom of the frame when they managed to load the bases with two outs. Lake Burris (SO/Chatsworth, Ga.) connected in his at-bat and was able to reach fist base on a misplayed grounder. The error allowed Wade Weinburger (FR/James Cistern, Bahamas) to reach home, evening the score 1-1.
The Lions left one runner on base in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to capitalize. Glass took over on the mound in the top of the fifth and surrendered only one hit, no runs, no walks, and tossed four strikeouts to silence the Screaming Eagles. His efforts earned him his first win this year. Morhardt's three-run blast was set up by singles from Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI) and Weinburger.
Morhardt finished 3-of-3 with a team-high three RBI's. Zuttermeister and Owens tallied two his apiece, and the only other hit for Bryan was notched by Weinburger who was 1-of-3 with a team-leading two runs scored. Zuttermeister and Weinburger had the only stolen bags of the game for both sides with one each, respectively. Miguel Lopez (JR/Yaucco, Puerto Rico) started for the Lions and worked through four innings allowing three hits, one earned run, and striking out three.
Three hits and one error led to an early three-run advantage for Toccoa Falls in the top of the first. A double by Zuttermeister followed by a double from Morhardt cut the deficit to 3-1 after one inning of play. The Screaming Eagles tacked on a lone run in the top of the third before the Lions rallied for a game-deciding four-run effort in the bottom of the frame. Zuttermeister sparked the fire for the Lions with a leadoff single and advanced to second on a stolen base. Weinburger took a free trip to first with a walk. Zuttermeister was plated on a double by Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.), putting Weinburger in scoring position at third. After a groundout, Owens went the distance on a full count, bringing in three runs for Bryan take over the lead 5-4. The Lions scored one insurance run in the bottom of the fourth when Mikey Rita (JR/Kalaheo, HI) reached on walk, stole second, and went to third on a sac-bunt by Zuttermeister. Rita took advantage of a wild pitch and crossed home plate, scoring the last run of the game for a 6-4 final.
Travis Moore (SR/Hastings, Mich.) got his first win of the season after starting the first three innings and having six hits and four runs, two earned, to show for it. He walked none and compiled three strikeouts. Ryan LaFever (FR/Baxter, Tenn.) relieved for two innings and allowed one hit and had two K's. Brandon Marklund (JR/North Vancouver, Canada) and Chad Burrows (SR/Nassau, Bahamas) each went one inning and had two strikeouts apiece. Burrows was awarded the save and now has four saves on the season, which leads the team. Despite being outhit 8-6, the Lions made the most of their hits with three coming in the form of doubles and one being Owen's three-run shot. Zuttermeister led Bryan with two hits in his two plate appearances and also had a team-high two runs scored. Owens was 1-of-3 with a homerun and a team-best three runs batted in. Morhardt and Behrent each delivered a hit, with both being doubles. Hudson Clare (SR/Jacksonville, Fla.) produced the only other hit, finishing 1-of-2 in the outing. Prentice Young (SR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.) showed impressive base running with three stolen bases as he worked as a pinch runner.
The two wins improved Bryan's overall record to 9-5 and dropped Toccoa Falls to 1-13. Up next for the Lions is a home doubleheader against Mid-South Conference opponent, Shawnee State University (Ohio) on Friday, Feb. 24 with the first pitch slated to be thrown at 4pm. Bryan remains home the next day, Saturday, Feb. 25 for a meeting with the No. 14 team in the nation, Campbellsville University (Ky.). Game one is scheduled to begin at 1pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.