Wheeling Drops Series Finale Doubleheader to IUP
Indiana, PA. – The Wheeling University Baseball team (4-11, 0-0) rounded out their series with IUP on Friday afternoon. They played a doubleheader and fell by scores of 13-10 and 9-6 as they dropped the three-game set two games to one.
Game One: IUP 13, Wheeling 10
After winning the first game of the series on Thursday, Wheeling was looking to keep that momentum going for game two. However, it was the Crimson Hawks who brought the offense early, scoring at least one run in each of the first six innings of the game to build a 13-2 lead after six. Senior Logan Pillars got the start for Wheeling, and allowed eight runs, on nine hits while walking one and striking out six. He lasted just 2.2 innings in the game before giving way to Paul Tripi and the Wheeling Bullpen. Tripi took over with two outs in the third and went 2.1 innings himself, allowing five earned runs on five hits while striking out two.
The Cardinals got two runs in the top of the fifth after J.R. Heavilin was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Jacob Murray stepped in and lined an RBI triple to right field, scoring Hevilin and making it a 13-1 game. Chris Iazzetta picked up Heavilin with a sacrifice fly that made it a 13-2 game. Things would stay there through six innings of play, and the Cardinals came up for their last at-bats of the game looking to stay alive. They did that and much more, nearly trying the game with an eight run top of the ninth as the Cardinals gave IUP all they could handle in that final inning.
After a strikeout to start the seventh, Iazetta stepped to the plate and cracked a solo home run to right-center field. Garth Charlton followed it up with a solo home run of his own, and Wheeling doubled their score to 13-4. Connor Watt walked and Anthony May singled to put runners at first and third with one out in the inning. Jack Skantze roles an RBI single to right, scoring Watt, and Wheeling was able to recreate the previous scenario. Spencer Craig drew a walk to load the based and Riley Cameron had an RBI ground out to make it 13-6. Heavilin followed them up with a two RBI double that made it 13-8, and Jacob Murray and Iazzetta drove in two more runs with a double and a single to make it a 13-10 game. Unfortunately, that is where things would end as Wheeling dropped the first game.
Chris Iazzetta led the offense going 2-4 with a home run and three RBI, and Jacob Murray added a 2-4 day with two RBI of his own. Jack Skantze had the biggest offensive day, going a perfect 4-4 at the plate while scoring a run, hitting a double, and driving in a run. Three Cardinals finished the afternoon with multi-hit games as the come back effort fell just short. However, with the late offense on their side, Wheeling was looking to take that momentum with them into the second game.
Game Two: IUP 9, Wheeling 6
In game two, the Cardinals took their offensive momentum with them as they scored there runs right off the bat. After back-to-back strikeouts to start the game, Riley Cameron got the offense going with a two-out single. J.R. Heavilin followed with a single of his own and put runners on first and second with two outs. The Cardinals then showed their power stroke as Jacob Murray lifted a three-run home run to right center field as Wheeling took their first lead of the day 3-0 in the top of the first. The inning ended with a strikeout, but Wheeling was able to take the lead early as they tried to split the doubleheader. However, the Vulcans added three runs in the bottom of the first and the game was tied at 3-3 heading into the second inning.
The Cardinals retook the lead in the top of the second when Lucas Rawlins singled to less off the inning and moved to second on an error. He stile third to get within 90 feet of home plate, Charlton picked him up with an RBI single to center that gave Wheeling a 4-3 lead. The Vulcans were back on the board in the bottom of the second, adding three more runs to take a 6-4 lead heading into the third inning. The Crimson Hawks would score two more runs in the bottom of the third and extended their lead to 8-4 heading into the fourth. The Cardinals got back on the board when Iazzetta came to the plate in the top of the fifth and lifted a solo home run to make it an 8-5 game.
The final run for IUP came in the bottom of the fifth and they made it a 9-5 game as they headed to the the Cardinals would score one more run in the top of the sixth. Jack Skantze walked to start the inning, and stole second. Riley Cameron would follow it up with a two-out double scoring Skantze and making it a 9-6 game. The game would end at that 9-6 score, and Wheeling fell in game two of their doubleheader to drop the series two games to three. Jacob Murray was the offensive leader on the day, going 2-4 with three RBI and a home run in the game. He was the only Cardinal to finish with multiple hits in the game, as the Cardinals picked up 11 hits in the game.
The Wheeling University Baseball team is back in action next Saturday, March 19th, when they open conference play against Concord. First pitch for the conference opener is scheduled for 1 PM