Greenville, Ill., May 10, 2021 – The Westminster College baseball team came into Monday afternoons double header looking to take the series from the Greenville University Panthers on their home field. A Logan Thompson 6th inning home run broke a 2-2 tie and sent the Blue Jays to a series clinching 3-2 win in seven innings. Game four saw a late Blue Jay rally run out of time in a 9-7 loss to the Panthers.
Game 3 BOXSCORE
Game three got off to a good start for the Blue Jays in the second inning when Thompson would walk to lead off the inning. Hayden Hirschvogel would then single down the left field line and Thompson would advance to second base. Hunter Mulholland would then walk to load the bases. Thompson would come in to score the first run of the game and the other runners would advance on a balk by the Panther pitcher making it 1-0 Blue Jays.
The Jays would plate another run in the third inning when Steven Diaz would double down the right field line to lead off the top of the inning. Senior Derek Shikles would then lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt to third base that advanced Diaz to third with one out. Payton Whitehead would then ground a ball to shortstop that would bring the run home to make it 2-0.
The Panthers would strike for two runs to tie the score in the fourth inning as the Panthers chased the Blue Jay starter Dawson Koch after three and a third innings pitched. He gave up two runs both of which were earned, walked three and struck out one. He left knowing he could not be the winner but was still responsible for the runner on second base with one out. Blue Jay freshman reliever Bode Gebbink came into the game and got a line drive double play to end the inning for the Jays to keep the score tied.
In the top of the sixth inning freshman power hitting first baseman Logan Thompson led off and hit a bomb to right center field to give the Blue Jays the lead back 3-2.
Bode Gebbink would throw up a zero in the bottom of the sixth before handing the ball off to fellow freshman Trent Morrow for the seventh and final inning. Morrow would go two and two thirds innings giving up zero runs on zero hits with one walk and three strikeouts to earn the win for the Blue Jays. Morrow would pitch around a single and an error in the bottom of the seventh to get the save, his second of the season.
The win improved the Blue Jays record to 17-18 and 13-14 and locked up the #4 seed in the SLIAC Conference Tournament that will be held at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon, Mo. and at Clayton High School starting this coming Thursday.
Game 4 BOXSCORE
The Blue Jays went into game four looking for the series sweep but the Panthers had other ideas. The Blue Jays did strike for a run in the top of the first as Diaz would reach on an infield single, advance to second on a throwing error, reach third on a groundout and score on a passed ball.
The Panthers plated four runs in the bottom of the first on five hits off of Blue Jay freshman starter Nathan Sheppard. Sheppard would settle down and work the second through fourth innings without giving up another hit or run. He left the game in the fifth inning working four innings giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits while walking one and striking out two. Austin Mayton would pitch the fifth and sixth innings giving up 3 runs on six hits with no walks or strike outs.
The Blue Jays would enter the top of the seventh inning trailing 7-1. The Blue Jay bats would come alive in the inning. With one out Coltin Green would reach on an errant throw by the Panther third baseman. Back to back singles by Bryce McKinnon and Ben Parks loaded the bases for the Blue Jays. Diaz would then single through the right side to drive in two runs. Parks would advance all the way to third base on the throw to the plate. Shikles would drive in the third run of the inning on a fielders choice. The Jays had cut the Panther lead down to 7-4.
The Panthers would strike for two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. They would score those two runs on three hits and an error off of Blue Jay reliever Jayme Bertish who would go two innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out no one. The Panthers would lead 9-4 going to the eighth inning.
In the top of the eighth inning Thompson would hit his second home run of the day to right center field. That cut the Panther lead to 9-5 heading to the bottom of the eighth.
The Blue Jays would mount one final attempt at a comeback in the top of the ninth. Diaz would single with one out and then come in to score off of a Shikles single to left field. Shikles would advance to second on the Panther throw to the plate to try to get Diaz. Whitehead would then walk. Thompson would then line a single up to right field to score Shikles and cut the lead to 9-7 and put the tying run on first base with only one out. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the rally would end there as the Panthers secured the final two outs and hung on to win game four 9-7.
Sheppard (1-1) took the loss for the Blue jays. Thompson lead the Blue Jay attack going 3-5 with two RBI's. Steven Diaz also contributed a 3-5 night with two RBI's. Bryce McKinnon pitched in two hits for the Jays while Shikles drove in two runs as well.
The Blue Jays will begin play in the SLIAC Conference Tournament on Thursday May 13th at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon, Mo. at 6:30 p.m. The Blue Jays will be seeded #4 and will take on the #5 seeded Greenville University Panthers for a 5th consecutive game.