Pulaski, Tenn. – Outscoring their opponents this season 333-235, the 21st – ranked Bryan College Baseball Team is no stranger to adding run on top of run in each contest, but the Lions managed to produce a season-high 20 runs on Wednesday evening during a visit at Southern States Athletic Conference opponent, Martin Methodist College (Tenn.). The RedHawks were able to piece together enough runs to normally secure a victory as their 11 trips crossing home plate was their third highest they had seen all year, but it was Bryan who outhit Martin Methodist 22-12 that gave way to a 20-11 win. The Lions improved their overall record to 32-13 along with extending their win-streak to five, while the RedHawks dropped to 12-26-1.
It was Lake Burris (SO/Chatsworth, Ga.), Kila Zuttermeister (JR/Kailua, HI), and Hudson Clare (SR/Jacksonville, Fla.) who led Bryan in the hit's column with three, respectively. Burris also had one of the Lion's homeruns and aided with a pair of runs scored and one run batted in. Zuttermeister finished with two runs scored, two RBI's, and a triple. Clare doubled in the battle and came away with one run scored and one RBI. Five other Lions turned in a multi-hit performance with two hits apiece: Wade Weinburger (FR/James Cistern, Bahamas), Trevor Behrent (JR/Catawissa, Pa.), Fernando Garcia (JR/Kissimmee, Fla.), Tyler Scott (FR/Calgary, Alberta), and Mikey Rita (JR/Kalaheo, HI). Weinburger swatted Bryan's only other homer and compiled three RBI's and two runs scored. Behrent chipped in two RBI's and scored one run. Garcia registered a triple and collected three runs scored and two runs batted in. Both Scott and Rita doubled for each of their hits as Scott produced one run scored and one RBI, and Rita secured two runs scored and a team-high four RBI's. Justin Morhardt (JR/Winsted, Conn.), Steven Ward (JR/Alabaster, Ala.), and Jacob Justice (FR/Ringgold, Ga) tallied one hit apiece in the game. Morhardt had one RBI, and Prentice Young (SR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.), courtesy runner, led all players with four runs scored. Ward batted in one run, and Justice helped with two runs scored and one RBI. Young also had a game-high three stolen bags.
It was a collaborative effort by Bryan on the mound as Brookes Jones (SR/Franklin,Tenn.) threw the first pitch of his Lion career to start the game, lasting two innings and surrendering two hits and two runs while walking three and tossing one strikeout to get the win. Landon Mosteller (SO/Clarksville, Tenn.) relieved for one inning and gave up a pair of hits and one run with one walk and one K. The third pitcher Martin Methodist faced was Sam Salyers (JR/Kingsport, Tenn.) who went one inning with a clean slate, and he was followed by Ryan LaFever (FR/Baxter, Tenn.) who worked through a single frame and gave up one hit, three runs with two earned, and one walk. Travis Moore (SR/Hastings, Mich.) trailed for one inning and had only one walk to show for it. The RedHawks added three runs on four hits to their total in the seventh inning against Miguel Lopez (JR/Yaucco, Puerto Rico), and he also walked one and got one out via strikeout. Austin Parrish (JR/Ringgold, Ga) saw action in the eighth and allowed one of each – a hit, run, walk, and strikeout. The evening was closed by Zane Glass (JR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.) who allowed two hits, one run, one walk, and bettered all other Bryan hurlers with three K's.
The Lions took no time to gain control of the game when Morhardt led off in the top of the first and reached base on a walk. Young took over base-running duties and stole second, but the advantage at second wouldn't be needed as Weinburger let the count build to 1-2 before delivering a two-run bomb over the fence in left-center. The rally continued with Behrent reaching on a walk and Garcia connecting for a RBI triple to right. Zuttermeister made enough contact in his at-bat for Garcia to score, which extended Bryan's lead to 4-0.
Two quick hits, a leadoff double to center by Scott and a single to third by Morhardt, put the Lions on top 5-0 as the second inning unfolded. Weinburger singled thru the hole at second base, and it allowed Young to take scoring position at third. Behrent grounded out, but Young scored Weinburger shifted over to second. A single thru the hole at shortstop by Burris allowed Weinburger to knock on the door for another run at third base. Garcia plated Weinburger with a single to left-center and advanced Burris to second. Burris rounded third and made his way home when Zuttermeister provided a single to right. Garcia took third on the play and scored the final run of the inning when Clare sailed a single to left, giving Bryan a comfortable 9-0 edge.
A single, walk, and fielder's choice helped Martin Methodist put their first run on the board in the bottom of the second. All it took was a wild pitch for the runner at third to scoot home to bring the score to 9-1. The RedHawks capitalized with another man on third as they hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, which scored the runner and closed the gap to 9-2.
The Lions left two on base as the top of third wrapped up, and the RedHawks countered with a lone run in the bottom of the frame as a result of a double, single, and passed ball.
The 9-3 difference didn't last long as Bryan tacked on four more in the fourth inning. Zuttermeister provided a leadoff triple to center, Justice was walked, and Scott doubled to center that scored Zuttermeister and advanced Justice to third. Scott handed over base-running duties to Rita, and Morhardt's patience gave way to a walk that loaded the bases. Young entered as a pinch runner before advancing to second, Rita taking third, and Justice scoring off a passed ball. Weinburger came up next and helped the Lions build onto their lead with a sac-fly lofted to center that plated Rita and sent Young to fill in behind at third base. Behrent got Young home with a single up the middle to give Bryan a 13-3 advantage after four innings on the diamond.
One run was added to their lead in the top of the fifth when Garcia was hit by a pitch, took second on Zuttermeister's single, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored off Rita's fielder's choice. Martin Methodist answered back with one of their best innings of the game in the bottom of the fifth. The RedHawks were walked to start things off, and a pinch hitter entered that sent a two-run long ball to left on a 1-0 count. Two wild throws and a sac-fly later caused Martin Methodist to end their three-run effort in the frame to make the deficit 14-6.
Burris propelled the second pitch tossed his way over the left field fence in the top of the sixth to tie Weinburger with 16 homeruns this season, which leads the team in the respective category this year and continues to shatter the previous single-season record of 13 homers set initially in 2007 and matched in 2015.
As the seventh inning got underway, Clare and Rita helped the Lions pin on another run, marking at least one run scored in every inning except the third. Clare doubled to left, Young entered to pinch run, and Rita manufactured a double that allowed Young to score and raise the margin back to double-digits at 16-6.
The RedHawks' last momentum swing came in the bottom of the seventh when the Lions walked Martin Methodist and surrendered the first run off a RBI triple. Three singles strung together, followed by a wild pitch, set up the RedHawks to score two more runs, which made it a seven-run ballgame with Bryan leading 16-9.
Martin Methodist dropped the deficit to 16-10 when they fashioned a double to deep right-center that followed a walk, which allowed a runner scoring position at third. A sac-fly to right did the trick and brought the run in before Bryan prevented any more distance to be made with a strikeout and fly out.
It looked as if the RedHawks would start out the top of the ninth by getting the Lions to hit into a quick out, but a missed catch gave way to Zuttermeister advancing to third. Bryan took advantage of the opportunity, and Justice sent a RBI single to third that plated Zuttermeister. Clare kept the rally going with a back-to-back single, which moved Justice to second. Justice and Clare were able to score on the next play when Rita crushed a double to left. A wild throw on the play allowed Rita to make his way to third. The final run of the game for the Lions was plated by Ward on just his second hit of the season. He singled up the middle and allowed Rita to score, capping Bryan at 20 runs.
Martin Methodist began the bottom of the frame with a solo homerun for the last run of the game as Glass settled in and retired three batters by strikeouts, which helped seal a 20-11 win for Bryan.
The Lion's final road games of the year are this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Apr. 21-22, at fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference school, Bluefield College (Va.). The first pitch of Friday's series opener is scheduled for 4pm, and Saturday's twinbill is set to start at 1pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.