Thomasville, Ga. – Before meeting with the No. 2 team in the nation, Georgia Gwinnett College, on Wednesday, Mar. 15, the 14th ranked Bryan College Lions Baseball Team stopped by Thomas University Tuesday afternoon for a warm-up against The Sun Conference opponent and routed the Night Hawks 12-6 to extend their win-streak to 16 games. The Lions are now 21-5 overall this season, while the Night Hawks dropped to 11-18
It was Travis Moore (SR/Hastings, Mich.) who led Bryan to the compelling victory from the mound as he moved to 2-0 this season after hurling six innings, allowing three hits and three runs while walking two and striking out five. Miguel Lopez (JR/Yaucco, Puerto Rico) relieved two innings and surrendered one hit, walked one, and struck out three. Tristan Legault (SO/Mascouche, Quebec) finished out the final inning and had two hits and three runs tallied against him.
The Lions completely outperformed the Night Hawks at the plate as they outhit the home team 17-6 with six coming in the form of an extra-base hit. Thomas had only two extra-base hits. Wade Weinburger (FR/James Cistern, Bahamas) continues to provide quality performances for Bryan, and he didn't disappoint with his team leading 10th homerun of the season. He currently ranks in the top-50 in the nation in slugging percentage (0.771), total runs batted in (28), and total bases (65). He also sits in the top-25 in runs scored per game (1.32), total runs scored (33), and homeruns (10). Against Thomas, he was 1-of-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Sam Salyers (JR/Kingsport, Tenn.) also went deep for the Lions when he blasted his first career homer on a solo shot in the third inning. Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.) led all Lions in hits with three and collected one run scored and one RBI. Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI), Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.), Fernando Garcia (JR/Kissimmee, Fla.), and Jacob Justice (FR/Ringgold, Ga) each had a multi-hit game with two hits apiece. Zuttermeister recorded a double, scored two runs, and plated two runs. Morhardt crossed home plate once and also had two RBIs to match Weinburger and Zuttermeister. Garcia doubled and came around for one run scored. Mikey Rita (JR/Kalaheo, HI) scored a team-high three runs and registered one hit that was a double. CJ Owens (SR/Oakland, Calif.) had one hit, one run scored, and one run batted in. The only other players for Bryan to produce a hit were Tyler Scott (FR/Calgary, Alberta) and Alec Turner (JR/Carlisle, OH). Turner also chipped in one RBI in the contest.
All it took was one swing of the bat in the top of the first inning for Bryan to set the mood when Weinburger crushed a pitch over the fence in left center for a 1-0 advantage.
The Lions sealed the game with a monstrous seven run showing in the second inning. Behrent sparked the rally with a single up the middle and was followed by a single from Garcia but was able to extend the play and reach second, allowing Behrent in scoring position at third. Owens stepped up and swatted an RBI single through the left side to score Behrent and move Garcia to third. A strikeout followed for their first out of their at-bat. Rita came up to the box and showed poise as a pitch hit him to load the bases. Zuttermeister took advantage of the situation and singled to plate Garcia while keeping the bases loaded. It looked as the second out would be recorded, but a fielding error allowed Weinburger to reach second and Zuttermeister to take third as Rita and Owens made their way home. Thomas continued to dig a hole for themselves when Morhardt connected with the ball and a combo of fielding and throwing errors allowed Weinburger and Zuttermeister to add to the Lion's lead. The game-changing second inning came to a close for Bryan when Behrent ripped an RBI single to left field to score Morhardt, giving the Lions an 8-0 edge over the Night Hawks.
Another solo bomb started the third inning just as it did the first inning for Bryan, but this time it was Salyers who launched it for his first homerun of his career to create a 9-0 separation from Thomas.
For the first time of the game, both teams came up empty in the fourth inning, but it didn't last long as the Lions were relentless on the attack. Justice entered to pinch hit and singled to right field to leadoff for Bryan. Rita doubled to left, but Justice was out at third off a notable throw from the left fielder. Another doubled rolled through as Zuttermeister plated Rita. Weinburger had a knack for causing mistakes for the Night Hawks as he reached on another throwing error, allowing Zuttermeister scoring position at third. Zuttermeister came in to put the Lions on top 11-0 when Morhardt singled to left just before Bryan was retired in the top of the fifth.
As the bottom of the frame unfolded, Thomas managed to avoid the blanking with their first runs of the game. Back-to-back singles set up the Night Hawk's Levi Hollingsworth for a three-run homerun served up over the right field wall, cutting the deficit to 11-3.
One last insurance run was added on by the Lions in the top of the eighth when Rita was walked, stole second, and then came in for the score off Turner's single to make the score 12-3.
A walk, single, wild pitch, double, another wild pitch, hit by pitch, and fielder's choice helped Thomas with another three-run routine in the bottom of the ninth, but the momentum came too late for the Night Hawks as the Lions overwhelmed them 12-6.
Bryan will be in Lawrenceville, Ga. on Wednesday in a showdown with 2nd ranked Georgia Gwinnett. The first pitch is set for 3pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.