Westminster Baseball Clinches Spot in SLIAC Tournament

Westminster Baseball Clinches Spot in SLIAC Tournament

ST. LOUIS - With an 8-6 victory over Fontbonne to earn a series win, Westminster baseball clinched a spot in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

Westminster ends the season 13-8 in the conference, earning the second spot in the West Division. 

Fontbonne picked up the first win of the series in the opening game of the Saturday doubleheader, forcing Westminster to win the final two games in order to earn a spot in the postseason.

In game two, the Blue Jays took a 5-3 win thanks to a four-run fourth inning which included an a single from Ryan Klimkiewicz to score two runs, an RBI walk from Zach Eisenreich, and a sacrificfe fly from Branden Beeler. Hayden Hirschvogel earned the final RBI of the game on a single in the seventh. Mason Kirkweg took the win on the mound, improving to 5-2 on the year.  Ethan Rackers earned his second save this season. 

The split made the Sunday rubber match a win-or-go-home situation for both squads, with the winner earning the final nod for the SLIAC Tournament. 

Westminster exploded for six runs in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead. Devin Masek started the scoring after a Griffin error, followed by a Ryan Clavin double to score Eisenreich for the second run of the inning. Will Stonecipher added two more runs with an RBI single to score Clavin and Beeler for a 4-0 lead. Braden Beasley and Klimkiewicz each reached on a fielder's choice, scoring runs with both conacts. 

Stonecipher added his third RBI in the game in the fourth, giving Westminster a 7-0 lead on a double that scored Beeler. 

Fontbonne started a comeback in the fifth inning with a three-run home run to get on the board and nearly cut the Blue Jay lead in half, adding two more runs in the sixth inning to come within two runs. In the seventh, a solo home run from Fontbonne made the score 7-6 in favor of the Blue Jays. 

An insurance run in the top of the ninth thanks to a Fontbonne error gave Westminster the 8-6 lead, and Rackers once again completed the two-inning save in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win and Tournament berth for the Bkue Jays. 

Andrew Boessen took home the win on the mound, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up three runs on two hits, striking out two. 

Westminster will face Spalding in the SLIAC Tournament Thursday at 2 p.m. The tournament is hosted by Greenville University.