Baseball Drops Offensive Slugfest in Finale vs. Chowan
Murfreesboro NC. – On Sunday, the Wheeling University Baseball team (1-5, 0-0) played the rubber match of their three-game series against Chowan. The two teams combined for 15 runs in the finale, but the Cardinals would fall on the short-end of the stick 8-7. Wheeling dropped two out of three in the series but scored a combined 20 runs between the three games.
Neither team got on the board in the first inning, but the Cardinals got the hitting started in the top of the second. After a strikeout started the inning, Connor Watt drew a one-out walk and Kobe Hill singled to put runners at first and second with one out. Anthony May would take advantage of the opportunity, grounding an RBI single to bring in the first run of the game, and advanced to second on an error. Riley Cameron lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Hill and make it a 2-0 Cardinal advantage. Chowan added a run in the bottom of the second inning, and the game sat at 2-1. Paul Tripi got the start and pitched well through the first three innings of the game and was rewarded.
The Cardinal offense continued to tack on in the top of the third by taking advantage of some Hawks errors. J.R. Heavilin reached on an error to start the inning but a double play cleared the bases and left Wheeling with nobody on and two outs. Blake Vandiver would then be hit by a pitch and stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Rawlins would take advantage lining an RBI single to left scoring Rawlins and bringing the score to 3-1. Connor Watt followed with a single and a wild pitch moved runners to second and third. Kobe Hill would come through with his first collegiate RBI with a two-RBI single that extended Wheeling's lead to 5-1. However, things took a turn in the bottom of the fourth as Chowan scored four runs and tied the game at 5-5.
Chowan would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs and leading 7-5. Wheeling would tie the game in the top of the seventh after a groundout to start the inning. Rawlins would follow with a single, and then an error and a fielder's choice would move runners to second and third with one out. A wild pitch would bring Rawlins home and made it a one-run game before May tied things up with an RBI single to make it 7-7. After Wheeling was held off the board in the top of the eighth, Wheeling would be shut out and Chowan would score the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. A 1-2-3 ninth inning ended the day and handed Wheeling the 8-7 loss.
Hill led the Wheeling offense going 2-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. They were the first two RBI of his collegiate career as he led Wheeling. Anthony May added a 2-5 effort and also drove in two RBI in the game. Tripi got the start and finished the day throwing four innings while allowing five earned runs on eight hits while striking out three. Johendry Colmenares came in relief and threw two innings allowing one run and Connor Pinsker allowed two earned runs in his two innings of work while walking two. Wheeling now gets ready for regional play after facing two tough non-conference opponents to help prepare them for the rest of their schedule.
The Wheeling University Baseball team is back in action on Friday, February 25th, when they kick off a three-game series with California University of Pennsylvania at 1 pm.