Columbia, Ky. – 15th ranked Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) had their 10-game win streak snapped at the hands of the Bryan College Lions Baseball team Wednesday afternoon, while the Lions continued their roll with 12 consecutive wins to an impressive 17-5 overall record. The Blue Raiders dropped to 11-8 overall with Bryan downing them for their first loss at home this season (9-1).
Trailing 6-4 heading into the ninth, Lindsey Wilson applied the pressure but Bryan remained poised and Mikey Rita (JR/Kalaheo, HI) blasted his second homerun of the contest to leadoff and was followed by Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI) singling and eventually reaching home to level the score 6-6, forcing extra innings to be played. Standout closer for the Lions, Chad Burrows (SR/Nassau, Bahamas), took over on the mound in the bottom of the frame and retired the Blue Raiders with no runs or hits to show for it.
Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.) led off for Bryan in the top of the 10th and ripped a single to left but was forced out at second when Fernando Garcia (JR/Kissimmee, Fla.) bunted and reached on a fielder' choice. Garcia stole second and then came around for the game-winning run when Tyler Scott (FR/Calgary, Alberta) delivered an RBI single to right field. Three groundouts was all Lindsey Wilson could muster against Burrows in their last at-bat as the Lions sealed a 7-6 come from behind win.
Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.) brought his homerun total to five on the season with a solo shot over the left field fence on a 2-2 count in the top of the first inning to put Bryan on the board first. One hit and one error set up Lindsey Wilson in the bottom of the frame to even the score 1-1.
Only three batters for Bryan saw action in the second as the Blue Raiders silenced them and took over the lead with a single, followed with a stolen base, and capitalized on another single to go up 2-1.
Rita launched the second pitch tossed his way in the top of third for his first career homer, tying the game 2-2. Unfortunately, the Blue Raiders completed their best inning of the game in the third when they added a three-spot for a 5-2 advantage. The three runs came off a walk, pair of stolen bases, triple, and an error.
Both sides came up empty in the fourth, and Bryan was the only one to add another run in the fifth. CJ Owens (SR/Oakland, Calif.) led off with a singled to left, and Alec Turner (JR/Carlisle, OH) followed suit with a single to left. Owens took over at second and then advanced to scoring position at third off a sac-bunt laid down by Rita. Zuttermeister stepped up to the plate and clobbered a high sacrifice fly to center, giving Owens enough time to come home and closing the gap to 5-3.
Lake Burris (SO/Chatsworth, Ga.) drew the Lions within one of the Blue Raiders, registering his fourth bomb on the year on a 0-2 count. Lindsey Wilson took their turn with their lone homerun of the contest, serving up a deep shot over the center field fence in the bottom of the inning to go back up by two, 6-4.
Bryan left three on base in the seventh, and both teams left a pair of runners on in the eighth. It wasn't until the ninth that the Lions forced the game into extra innings off Rita's second homer of the day and Zuttermeister executing base running following his single.
Burrows dealt two innings and allowed no hits or runs while walking three and tossing one strikeout to earn his fourth win of the season. A great team effort by Bryan gave way to Garcia reaching on a bunt, stealing a bag, and scoring off Scott's single to get the 7-6 victory.
The Lions outhit the Blue Raiders 12-9 and were led by Zuttermeister, Burris, Turner, and Rita who each had two hits apiece. Four hits were jacks and came from Rita's two, Morhardt's solo homerun, and Burris' long shot. Rita pieced together a remarkable performance with a team-high two RBIs and two runs scored. Scott and Zuttermeister each ended with one run batted in, respectively, while Zuttermeister also added one run scored. Garcia and Owens scored the other two runs for Bryan.
Austin Parrish (JR/Ringgold, Ga) started for the Lions and worked his way through six innings, giving up seven hits and six runs, four earned, along with two walks and five K's. Landon Mosteller (SO/Clarksville, Tenn.) entered for one inning and allowed one hit, and Zane Glass (JR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) came in for one frame and showed one hit, one walk, and one strikeout. Burrows closed the final two innings and received the win.
The Lions have five wins against top-15 teams under their belt this season.
Up next for Bryan is a three-game series on the road with fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference opponent, Truett-McConnell University (Ga.) on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 10-11. The Lions and Bears begin with a doubleheader on Friday with the first pitch of the day being thrown at 12pm. The finale is one game on Saturday slated for 1pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.