Ninth Inning Dooms Blue Jays In 11-8 Loss to Neb. Wesleyan

Ninth Inning Dooms Blue Jays In 11-8 Loss to Neb. Wesleyan

The Westminster baseball team held the lead throughout the nine inning game on Monday versus Nebraska Wesleyan, but in the top of the ninth, the Nebraska Wesleyan PrairieWolves pulled the lead and held it to defeat the Blue Jays 11-8.

The PrairieWolves hit a two out home run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays answered back with an unearned run by junior Deion Hughes. Sophomore Nick Cessna then hit a RBI single to score junior Tyler Branneky and take the lead, 2-1. 

In the bottom of the second, the Blue Jays added two more runs to the scoreboard. Freshman Nick Bohlmann hit a RBI single to score senior Cam Backes. Senior Tim Chambliss then hit a RBI single on two outs to score Bohlmann, but was put out at second after trying to advance. 

The PrairieWolves scored an unearned run in the top of the third, and led off the fourth with a home run to left center to bring them within one, 4-3. 

The PrairieWolves walked Backes in the bottom of the sixth with one out to bring bases loaded. Junior A.C. Long hit to short stop and Backes was forced out at second, but Ty.  Branneky was able to score, and a throwing error by the pitcher gave the Blue Jays another run to bring their lead to 6-3.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with a double by Hughes, a single by Ty. Branneky and a walk by freshman Chris Asher. Freshman Adam Mundle stepped up to the plate and hit into a double play, but scored Hughes to grab a 7-3 lead.

In the top of the eighth, the PrairieWolves started connecting with the ball. They grabbed three runs and three hits before the Blue Jays were able to grab three outs. 

It was a quick three-up-three-down for the Blue Jays' at-bat, but they still held the 7-6 lead heading into the ninth. On the third at-bat, the PrairieWolves singled to the left field fence to bring in the tying run. They then hit a RBI single to center field, forcing the Blue Jays to make a pitching change. On a 2-0 count, the PrairieWolves' first baseman hit a three run homerun over the left field fence to take an 11-7 lead. The Blue Jays found the final two outs, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth. 

Chambliss led off and got on base with a throwing error by shortstop. Hughes was walked, but Branneky gave the Blue Jays their first out. With two on, Asher came to the plate and hit a RBI single to left field to score Chambliss. To end the game, freshman Adam Mundle hit to the pitcher who completed a double play.

The Blue Jays finished the game with 10 hits. Backes went 2-3 from the plate. Chambliss had 13 putouts and Ty. Branneky had eight assists. 

Senior Jake Rule pitched five innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out four. Sophomore Miller Bowles was credited with the loss.

The Blue Jays host Eureka College for the first conference and division games of the season on Saturday, March 14. They play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. and a single nine inning game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.