CLARKSVILLE, Ark.– The Westminster baseball team was swept by the University of the Ozarks this weekend in their opening series of the 2020 season. The Eagles won today's game 7-5 and both games of yesterday's doubleheader 10-7 and 3-2.
In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, Ryan Clavin put the Blue Jays ahead 2-0 with a two-run home run in the first inning. Trevor Rhoads added to the lead with a solo homer in the second inning. The Eagles' bats came alive in the third for six hits and eight runs to take an 8-3 lead. Ozarks added another run in the fourth to extend their lead to 9-3.
In the top of the fifth Branden Beeler belted a two-run homer after Bryce McKinnon was hit by a pitch. Westminster tacked on two more runs in the inning thanks to a wild pitch and bases-loaded walk. The Eagles added another run in their half of the inning and shut out the Blue Jays in the final two frames to win the game 10-7.
Clavin went 4-4 with two RBI for the Blue Jays. Skyler Dickneite took the loss for Westminster after going 2.2 innings and giving up eight runs on six hits.
Game two was a pitcher's duel with the teams combining for just five hits. The Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the first off Blue Jay starter Mason Kirkweg. The Blue Jays got two runs back in the fourth inning on a Will Stonecipher RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Derek Shikles but could not tie the game.
Kirkweg pitched all six innings for Westminster, striking out seven batters and surrendering just a pair of hits.
Today's game saw the Eagles get off to a hot start with four runs in the first off two hits and a Westminster error. Shikles drove in the first Westminster run in the second on a fielder's choice and the Blue Jays got another run in the third when Michael Skinner scored on a ground out by Beeler.
A home run in the sixth brought the Eagle lead to 5-2. After back-to-back doubles to begin the eight by Stonecipher and Hayden Hirschvogel, Shikles blasted the first home run of his career to tie the game at 5-5. The Eagles broke the tie in their half of the inning with two runs off three hits to take a 7-3 lead going into the ninth. A Stonecipher walk sandwiched between singles from Beeler and Hirschvogel loaded the bases for the Blue Jays with one out but the Eagles were able to get out of the jam to close out the game and series with a 7-5 victory.
Josh Weaver got the start for the Blue Jays, giving up five runs (three earned) and striking out five. Jayme Bertish came in to relieve Weaver and gave up a hit in one inning. Andrew Boessen was dealt the loss after throwing two innings and allowing two runs on four hits.
Stonecipher and Hirschvogel each got on base four times with two hits and two walks.
Next up the Blue Jays will head to Topeka, Kansas for a doubleheader against Nebraska Wesleyan on Feb. 26.