Dayton, Tenn. – The Bryan College Lions Baseball Team went a perfect 4-0 over the weekend after sweeping Shawnee State University (Ohio) in doubleheader action on Friday and continued to roll on Saturday by upsetting the No. 14 team in the nation, Campbellsville University (Ky.) in two meetings. Both sides were forced to go into extras when the Lions notched a four-spot in the bottom of the fourth and neither team could get on the board until the eighth. A lone run by the Tigers in the top of the frame was answered with a tying run by the Lions in the bottom. Bryan held Campbellsville scoreless in the ninth and capitalized on their turn to steal the opening game 7-6. Game two was much quieter as the Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead, was matched in the top of the third by Campbellsville, but Bryan tallied two more runs in the bottom of the third for the last scores of the game to take the 4-2 win.
The Lions now have an eight-game win streak, improving their overall record to 13-5. The Tigers had recently dropped No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan University before coming to Bryan, but the pair of losses took Campbellsville's overall record to 8-4.
In the bottom of the first, the Lions plated one run for an early lead. Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI) led off with a single to start things out for Bryan. Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.) was walked, advancing Zuttermeister to second. Another walk loaded the bases with two outs. It looked as if the Lions wouldn't be able to tack on a run, but Campbellsville misplayed Fernando Garcia (JR/Kissimmee, Fla.)'s grounder, allowing Zuttermeister to score for a 1-0 Bryan lead.
A combination of walks, errors, and Tiger's hits gave way to five runs being scored by Campbellsville in the top of the second for a 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, CJ Owens (SR/Oakland, Calif.) scored Lake Burris (SO/Chatsworth, Ga.) and Garcia when he took the first pitch he saw and delivered a three-run homerun. The bomb cut the deficit to one, 5-4. As Bryan battled to tie the score, Sam Salyers (JR/Kingsport, Tenn.) managed to single before Prentice Young (SR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.) took over as a pinch runner. Young took advantage of a wild throw and went to second. The Tiger's pitcher began to crack as he tossed another wild pitch, allowing Young to take scoring position at third. It looked as if Campbellsville had gained composure with back-to-back strikeouts, but another off-target pitch that traveled past the catcher brought Young in to level the score 5-5.
Both Bryan and Campbellsville went into extra innings after coming up empty through the seventh. After two outs to begin their at bat in the top of the eighth, the Tigers smashed a solo shot over the fence for the go-ahead run. Pressure built with the Lions needing a run to stay alive in the bottom of the frame. A strikeout brought the hot bat of Owens up to the plate. Pitching to him was a mistake that Campbellsville couldn't take back. On a 1-0 count, Owens cranked his second homer of the game to keep Bryan in the game, 6-6.
With a runner on third and only one out, Bryan's Austin Parrish (JR/Ringgold, Ga) took the reigns on the mound and helped the Lions dodge a bullet with two fly outs, setting them up to win the game in the bottom of the frame.
The Tigers picked up one quick out, but Alec Turner (JR/Carlisle, OH) pinch-hit and singled to keep the pace. Tucker Cain (SO/Jacksboro, Tenn.) took over the base-running duties and made quick work by stealing second. All it took was a game-winning RBI single from Burris to seal the deal 7-6.
The win was Parrish's first of the season, moving his record to 1-1. Brandon Marklund (JR/North Vancouver, Canada) started for Bryan was made it through five innings, surrendering five hits, five runs with three being earned, walking three, and registering all of the Lion's seven K's. Ryan LaFever (FR/Baxter, Tenn.) came in for 3.1 innings and served up one hit and one earned run.
Owens earned player of the game distinction after going 2-of-4 with a team-high four RBI's and two runs scored. Burris was the only other Lion with a multi-hit game, ending 2-of-4 with one run batted in and one run scored. Salyers, Turner, Morhardt, and Zuttermeister each aided with one hit apiece. Bryan totaled eight hits to better Campbellsville's six.
Game two was decided after three innings. A leadoff single by Garcia in the bottom of the second was trailed by Owens who ceaselessly stifled the Tigers and this time with a two-run deep ball to put the Lions out in front 2-0.
Campbellsville countered in the top of the third with their only two runs of the game coming in the form of a two-run smack over the fence. The game was put away in the bottom of the frame when Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.) sparked the offense as he reached on a walk and then advanced to second on a missed catch by the first baseman. Morhardt and Burris were walked, loading the bases with no outs. The Tigers folded with the go-ahead run being handed over as a free pass with another walk. Behrent strolled home as the Lions gained a 3-2 edge. Owens tallied his 13th RBI of the weekend when he clobbered a sacrifice fly, plating Morhardt for the eventual 4-2 victory.
Landon Mosteller (SO/Clarksville, Tenn.) picked up his first win of the year after dealing six innings and allowing five hits, two runs, three walks, and securing five strikeouts. Chad Burrows (SR/Nassau, Bahamas) continues to impress with his fifth save so far. He gave up one hit and sat down two batters with strikeouts in the final inning.
Owens guided the team with three RBI's with a 1-of-3 performance at the plate and one homerun. The only other extra-base hit was Zuttermeister's double. Garcia was 1-of-3, scoring one run and picking up Bryan's other RBI. Morhardt and Rita each had one hit, respectively, as the Lions were outhit 6-5.
It has been a remarkable week for Owens, connecting on 12-of-21 with two doubles, six homeruns, and 18 RBI's.
The Lions stay home for their next matchup as they play host to Mid-South Conference foe, Cumberland University (Tenn.), who is receiving votes in the top-25 poll. The single game is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 5pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.