The Westminster baseball team closed out their regular season with a doubleheader sweep over the Spalding University Golden Eagles on Friday, May 6. The Westminster Blue Jays won 7-1 and 10-6 to close out their regular season with a 25-12 record, 16-6 in conference play and 8-4 in divisional play.
The Blue Jays scored first in game one on a passed ball, but Spalding tied it up in the top of the third with a RBI single.
The Blue Jays took control of the lead in the fourth inning with a two RBI single from sophomore Nick Bohlmann to score seniors Connor Hager and Tyler Branneky. Strebler brought home the fourth run of the game with a RBI double to right field, giving the Blue Jays a 4-1 edge over the Golden Eagles.
In the sixth inning, the Blue Jays added three more runs to the score to take a 7-1 lead. Senior Nolan Bax hit a RBI single to score Bohlmann, and with bases loaded, the Golden Eagles walked in junior Tanner Branneky, With one out, sophomore Blake Strebler scored on senior Deion Hughes' sacrifice fly.
Westminster held Spalding to just one hit in the top of the seventh to close out the game with a 7-1 win.
The Blue Jays posted six hits during the seven inning game. Bohlmann went 2-for-3 from the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Ta. Branneky and Strebler each recorded a double.
Hughes (11-1) was credited with the win on the mound after throwing eight strikeouts in five innings. Senior Collin Brinker (1) grabbed his first save of the season on the mound as he closed out the final two innings and struck out four of the seven batters faced.
Spalding led off game two with a RBI fielder's choice in the top of the first inning, but in the bottom of the second inning, the Blue Jays put up four runs to take a 4-1 lead. Bohlmann scored junior Nick Cessna on a RBI triple to center field, and Ta. Branneky scored Bohlmann on a RBI single. The final two runs of the inning scored on Spalding errors.
Ta. Branneky brought in two more runs in the third inning with a two run shot over the right field fence.
The Blue Jays put up two runs in the fifth with a two RBI single by sophomore Adam Mundle scoring Strebler and Bohlmann.
Spalding closed the scoring gap to just three runs after putting up four in the sixth inning. They scored three off two doubles and the fourth with a RBI ground out.
Westminster added two security runs in the seventh to take a 10-5 lead. Bohlmann led off the inning with a tripe and was brought home on Bax's at-bat. Ta. Branneky also scored on the play with an error by Spalding's second baseman.
Spalding scored one run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly, but it was not enough to close the gap, ending the game with a 10-6 Westminster victory.
The Blue Jays out-hit the Golden Eagles 8-5. Ta. Branneky went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Bohlmann went 2-for-4 with two triples and three RBI, and Mundle finished with two hits and two RBI.
Brinker (8-2) was credited with the win on the mound. He pitched 5.0 innings, faced 18 batters, struck out three and allowed just one run. Ta. Branneky (5) was credited with the save after pitching 3.2 innings. He struck out five of his 15 batters faced and did not allow an earned run.
The Blue Jays enter the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Tournament as the no. two seed from the west division with a 15-6 conference record. They will face MacMurray College, the no. one team from the east division, in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, May 12 at 2:00 pm in Greenville, Ill. on the campus of Greenville College.