Dayton, Tenn. – The Bryan College Lions Baseball Team added another win to their impressive start to the season, now sitting at 14-5 overall and 1-0 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play after dominating fellow AAC opponent St. Andrews University (N.C.) 13-3 Friday evening in their conference opener.
Chris Sauve (SR/Mascouche, Quebec) improved his record to 4-1 this season after dealing six innings and surrendering only four hits and two earned runs while striking out eight Knights. He kept St. Andrews off the board through five innings. Zane Glass (JR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) entered for one inning of relief and allowed one hit, one run, and walked four. Ryan LaFever (FR/Baxter, Tenn.) closed out the top of the eighth with nothing to show but two strikeouts.
Wade Weinburger (FR/James Cistern, Bahamas) has posed problems for many pitchers so far this year, and the lefty continued to do so against St. Andrews as he went 3-of-3 to lead the team in hits. One hit was a double and another was a homerun, totaling three runs batted in and three runs scored. His three runs scored matched teammate Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI) as both had a team-high. He, along with Lake Burris (SO/Chatsworth, Ga.), each led the team in the RBIs column with three apiece. Burris was the only other Lion with a multi-hit performance, going 2-of-3 with a double. Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.) had Bryan's other homer of the contest, tallying two runs scored and two RBIs. Prentice Young (SR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.) has shown a tremendous effort as a courtesy runner, compiling 15 runs along with 11 stolen bases. He ranks 26th in the NAIA in stolen bases and 28th in stolen bases per game (0.733). In the AAC, Young is tied for 15th in total runs scored and is in the No. 4 spot in stolen bases. Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.)'s .500 batting average this year (3rd in conference, 24th in NAIA) led to him being walked three times by St. Andrews. His lone smack of the game was a double as he finished 1-of-2. Zuttermeister and Fernando Garcia (JR/Kissimmee, Fla.) each registered one hit, helping bring Bryan's hit count to nine while St. Andrews only produced five hits.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first. Zuttermeister showed patience at the plate and took first after being walked. Weinburger followed with a sacrifice bunt and was putout, but Zuttermeister was able to take second. Morhardt was intentionally walked, putting runners on first and second with one out. A strikeout followed, but Burris delivered an RBI single to plate Zuttermeister for the 1-0 lead.
After a quite second inning, three more runs were added to Bryan's lead in the third. Zuttermeister was walked again and then took scoring position at third when Weinburger ripped a double. An unfortunate error by the Knight's pitcher allowed Zuttermeister to stroll in for the easy score. The balk put Weinburger at third, which was taken advantage of as the pitcher tossed a wild pitch, putting the Lions ahead 3-0. Morhardt was walked again, but Young took over and proved to be lethal as he stole second, stole third, and then made his way home on a groundout by Behrent, giving Bryan a 4-0 advantage.
Another quite inning was trailed in the fifth with three more runs for the Lions. Zuttermeister sparked the rally, but this time it was a single that got him on base. He got a free trip home when Weinburger knocked out his fifth long shot of the season on a 0-1 count. The hot hitting continued as Morhardt came behind with a double. Behrent reached first on a fielder's choice, so the tag out was made at second. Behrent provided the Lions with another run opportunity when he stole second, setting up Garcia who collected an RBI single to score Behrent. Through five innings, Bryan had built a comfortable 7-0 lead.
Two hits were all it took in the top of the sixth for St. Andrews to finally get on the board. With two outs to begin their at-bat, a single followed by a two-run jack cut the deficit to five runs at 7-2.
Bryan wouldn't ease up as they added their most runs in the bottom of the sixth on only two hits. Hudson Clare (SR/Jacksonville, Fla.) led off for the Lions and reached on a walk. He then stole second, before Mikey Rita (JR/Kalaheo, HI) was walked. A wild pitch put Clare on third and Rita on second. A fly out followed for the Lion's first out. Weinburger delivered a single that plated Clare and put Rita in scoring position at third. Another wild pitch allowed Bryan to take a 9-2 lead. A consecutive wild pitch allowed Weinburger to third. Morhardt was up next and got a free pass on a walk. Young took over for Morhardt and advanced to second on a stolen base. To cap the rally was Burris who crushed a two-run double, scoring Weinburger and Young for an 11-2 edge over the Knights.
With runners on first and second, St. Andrews grounded into a double play to begin the seventh inning. A wild pitch by Bryan allowed a runner to third with two outs. Three back-to-back walks gave the Knights their last run of the game, bringing the score to 11-3.
The Lions got one insurance run in the bottom of the seventh off no hits as CJ Owens (SR/Oakland, Calif.) reached on a walk to leadoff for Bryan, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and made his way home on a ground out by Zuttermeister.
Up 12-3, Behrent ended the game in style for the Lions with a walk-off solo shot on the second pitch that came his way, reaching the run rule to close out the contest after eight innings of play with a 13-3 final.
The Bryan and St. Andrews series wraps up on Saturday, Mar. 1, with the first game slated to start at 1pm and the second to follow.
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