Greenville, Ill., May 7, 2021 – The Blue Jay baseball team came into Friday's double header at the Greenville University Panthers looking to get back on the winning track after dropping four in a row last weekend. They managed to do just that as they would sweep the day with a 10-7 victory in game one and a 2-1 comeback win in game two.
Game 1 BOXSCORE
The Blue Jays would use another strong outing by senior right hander Andrew Boessen and the offense would bang out 18 hits in a 10-7 victory.
The Blue Jays would get things started early. With two out in the top of the first Payton Whitehead would single. He would steal second base, advance to third on an error and then score on a Hayden Hirschvogel single to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
The Jays would tack on two more runs in the top of the second. Parker Schnieders would walk to lead off the inning as Schnieders would manage to advance to second. The Panthers would retire the next two Blue Jays before Steven Diaz would lay down a bunt single to reach first and advance Schnieders to third. Diaz would steal second. Senior Derek Shikles then lined a double to left field to drive in both runs to make it 3-0. would
The Blue Jays would add three more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Schnieders would get things started again when he doubled to right center leading off. Coltin Green would lay down a sacrifice bunt to get the runner to third with just one out. Bryce McKinnon would then drive a ball to the gap in left center for an RBI double making it 4-0. Diaz would then reach first after being hit by a pitch. Whitehead would reach first base on a fielder's choice as Diaz would be safe at second on an error by the shortstop. Logan Thompson strode to the plate with the bases loaded. He would line a single to left field to score two runs and stake the Jays to a big 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Boessen was dealing. He would only allow 4 base runners through the first six innings, two walks and two that were hit by pitch. He only saw only one runner reach second where he was stranded.
Boessen had no-hitters heading into the sixth innings of his last two outings only to have it broken up in the sixth. This time he would head to the seventh inning having allowed no hits.
In the seventh inning the Panthers would get on the board without the aid of a hit. The leadoff hitter would reach on a throwing error. The runner would then attempt to steal second and would advance to third on an errant throw. With the runner on third with nobody out the Panthers Parker Panich would ground out to first base unassisted to drive in the runner from third to cut the Blue Jays lead to 6-1. Boessen would then get the last two batters to pop up and ground out. While he lost the shutout, due to the unearned run, he still had a no-hitter through seven.
The Blue Jays would get the run back and more in the top of the eighth when Shikles would walk to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on an errant pick off attempt. Then he reached third base on a passed ball. Whitehead would then bring him home on a triple to left center to make it 7-1. Thompson would then walk. With runners on first and third and nobody out Hirschvogel would ground into a 6-4-3 double play that would bring home Whitehead to extend the lead to 8-1.
Boessen, who hit 104 pitches getting through the seventh inning, would not come out for the eighth. His night was spectacular, 1 unearned run on 0 hits through 7 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 2 in earning the win.
The Panthers would try to mount a comeback as they would score 6 runs in the final two innings but thanks to a Shikles RBI sac fly and a Whitehead RBI single the Blue Jays would stay in control and as freshman pitcher Trent Morrow closed out the bottom of the ninth, Boessen(3-3) and the Blue Jays had a big 10-7 road win to start the four game series.
Game 2 BOXSCORE
Game two would see the Panthers take a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning off a double and an RBI single. Blue Jay freshman starter Chase Holder would induce a 1-2-3 double play and a fly out to get out of a bases loaded nobody out jam to limit the damage.
The Blue Jays would still trail 1-0 entering the eighth inning. With time and outs running out the Blue Jays offense would get to work. Hunter Mulholland would work a walk with one out to start the rally. Senior Tanner Nowatzki would pinch run for Mulholland and advance to second base on a wild pitch by the Panthers. Schnieders, one of the stars of the game one win, would double down the left field line to drive in Nowatzki to tie the game 1-1. A ground out to third base recorded the second out. Schnieders would then advance to third on the second wild pitch of the inning by the Panthers. Bryce McKinnon would then come through with what would prove to be the game winning RBI on a big two out single to left center to give the Jays a 2-1 lead.
Freshman reliever Bode Gebbink(2-0), who relieved Holder in the seventh inning, would throw up another zero in a one, two, three eighth inning to earn his second win against no losses.
Morrow would again be called upon to finish out game two in the ninth. He would work around a dropped pop up that got the leadoff and tying run to second base with nobody out. A strikeout, a lineout to Thompson the first baseman and a fly out to left field ended the game as Morrow would come through with the save, the first of his career.
Freshman Blue Jay starter Chase Holder pitched a strong game allowing just one run on seven hits through six innings. The tough luck starter struck out three and walked just one in the no decision.
After 18 hits in game one the Blue Jays managed just four hits in game two. The Jays took advantage of what the Panthers gave them and came through with two of those hits in the clutch to snatch the win and the sweep.
Forecasted rain has forced the postponement of games three and four of the series to Monday May 10th. The Blue Jays will look to win their final regular season SLIAC series in game three which is set for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch at Greenville University. Game four will start after game three around 6:00 p.m.