The Westminster College baseball team opened up conference and division play with a three game series sweep over Eureka College on Saturday and Sunday. The Westminster Blue Jays defeated the Eureka Red Devils 9-0 and 10-8 during Saturday's doubleheader, and on Sunday, the Blue Jays won 8-3. They are now 5-1 on the season and start division and conference play 3-0.
The Blue Jays shut out the Red Devils in game one, 9-0. They started off the game with two runs in the first. The first run came from senior Tim Chambliss' RBI double to score senior Cam Backes, and the second run came from junior Deion Hughes' RBI single to left field to score Chambliss.
The Blue Jays added another run in the second with a sacrifice fly to center field by Backes to score sophomore Tanner Branneky.
In the fourth inning, Ta. Branneky led off with a homerun. Chambliss later hit a RBI double to score freshman Nick Bohlmann, and junior Tyler Branneky doubled to score Hughes and Chambliss.
The Blue Jays added two more runs in the sixth inning. On a full count, Ty. Branneky hit a RBI triple to score sophomore Connor Hager and tie the career triples record at Westminster. Ty. Branneky later scored on a wild pitch to end the game with the 9-0 shutout win.
Hughes (2-0) pitched the complete game and was credited with the shutout win. He allowed only three hits and struck out nine.
The Blue Jays outhit the Red Devils 11 to 3. Chambliss went 2-4 from the plate and finished the game with 10 putouts. Ty. Branneky went 2-4 with three RBI, and Bohlmann went 2-3 from the plate.
The second game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. A RBI single by Backes down the left field line brought in Ty. Branneky and Chambliss to put the Blue Jays up 2-0. Ta. Branneky then hit a RBI single to right center to score Backes.
The Blue Jays added four more runs to the board in the fifth inning with two 2 RBI doubles by sophomore Nick Cessna and Backes.
The Red Devils put up three runs in the seventh to bring the game within four, 7-3. In the bottom of the seventh, junior Ryan Loethen grounded out to the pitcher, but Ty. Branneky was able to scored.
Eureka put up another run in the eighth inning, but in the bottom of the inning, Eureka's pitcher walked in two runs. Heading into the final inning, the Blue Jays led 10-4.
Eureka put up four runs in the ninth inning, but the Blue Jays were able to end the inning without having to head into the bottom of the ninth, 10-8.
Junior Will Miller (2-0) was credited as the winning pitcher. He pitched seven innings, did not allow an earned run, and struck out six.
Backes went 2-3 from the plate with five RBI and Chambliss went 3-4 from the plate with three runs. Sophomore Nolan Bax led the team with nine putouts.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays and the Red Devils met for a single nine inning game to close out the division series. The Blue Jays started off the game with four runs in the second inning. Freshman Chris Asher hit a RBI single to score Ty. Branneky, and junior A.C. Long hit a two RBI single up the middle to score Ta. Branneky and Hager. Bohlmann followed with a RBI single up the middle to score Long before the inning ended.
Ty. Branneky hit a homerun over the fence to bring the Blue Jays up 5-0 heading into the fourth. Eureka put up two runs in the fourth inning off a RBI single and a RBI sacrifice bunt.
In the sixth inning, Ty. Branneky scored, and in the seventh inning, Hughes hit a two run homerun over the right center fence to bring the Blue Jays' lead to 8-2.
In the ninth inning, the Red Devils loaded the bases with one out. The Blue Jays were able to get out of the inning with just one run scored to end the game with an 8-3 win.
Senior Jake Rule (1-0) was credited with the win. He pitched eight innings, allowed two runs and struck out five.
Ty. Branneky went 3-3 from the plate with a homerun and three runs scored. Long went 2-4 from the plate with two RBI.
Chambliss had 14 putouts, and Backes had five assists.
The Blue Jays make a stop in Carlinville, Illinois on Friday, March 20 to play a conference doubleheader with Blackburn College before making their way to Florida for their spring break trip.