The Westminster baseball team split on day one of the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Arizona. They opened the Invitational with a 29-8 short-game win over Middlebury College, dropped the second game of the day to Williams College, 9-8. The split brings the Westminster Blue Jays to 10-6 on the season.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead to start the game, but the Blue Jays scored six runs in the top of the second and four in the top of the third to take a 10-1 lead. In the bottom of the third, Middlebury scored four runs to put the score at 10-5.
The Blue Jays combined for 19 runs over the next four innings while allowing Middlebury just three runs to win the game 29-8.
The Blue Jays had 22 hits. Senior Tyler Branneky, junior Connor Hager and junior Tanner Branneky each recorded four hits. Ta. Branneky hit two home runs and finished with five RBI while Ty. Branneky had a home run and four RBI. Hager also had four RBI.
Williams led off the game with a home run, taking an early 1-0 lead, but the a Hager RBI double scored Hughes to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Williams added two more runs in the second inning, but the Blue Jays once again tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a two RBI single by sophomore Adam Mundle.
Williams scored two runs in the third to take a 5-3 lead, but Hughes brought in a run in the fourth inning and two in the sixth inning to go up 6-5 lead. Williams answered back with a four-run inning to take the 9-6 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Blake Strebler hit a two RBI double to score sophomore Nick Bohlmann and junior Nick Cessna and bring the score to 9-8, Williams.
The Blue Jays left three on base in the eighth and ninth inning to lose the game 9-8.
The team finished with 11 hits. Four players recorded two hits and three players had two RBI.
Bowles (0-1) was credited with the loss on the mound. He pitched two innings in relief. Senior Collin Brinker pitched the first four innings and faced 24 batters. Ta. Branneky closed out the final three innings and struck out three.
The Blue Jays see Middlebury and Williams again in day two of the invitational on Tuesday, March 29. They play Middlebury at 1:00 pm MST (11:00 am CST) and Williams at 4:30 pm MST (2:30 pm CST).