By Stephen Dintaman/Sinclair Sports Information
Sinclair started the scoring off first by scoring two runs in the 2nd. The inning started with a Tyler Raymond triple to right center. Paul Wilson struck out and Drew Williams was hit by the pitch setting up Lance Straley with an RBI opportunity. Straley doubled down the leftfield line scoring Raymond and moving Williams to third. AJ Kruzel walked and Jon Lowe singled to center scoring the games second run. Both Austin Downing and Matt Sullivan were unable to cash in and the scoring ended there.
The Pride's starting pitcher Craig Koehler was on cruise control for much of the game and didn't allow a hit until the 5th inning. Koehler was dominate, throwing over 75% of his first pitches for strikes. He would leave the game after six innings of shutout baseball and only giving up two hits while striking out six.
The offense added two more manufactured runs to extend the lead to 4-0 and Carlos Merlano pitched a clean 7th inning.
Final Score: Sinclair 4 University of the Cumberlands JV 0
WP: Koehler 6IP, 2H, 6K's, BB
Offensive Leaders: Jon Lowe 2-3 RS SB 2 RBI's, Austin Downing 1-2 SAC, AJ Kruzel 1-2 RS SB
Starting pitcher Scott Haag was in trouble early but settled down very nicely. Cumberlands first two batters of the game singled, and after a groundout moved the runners over, Rasario hit a sacrifice fly to right giving the Patriots the lead. Haag then would not face any trouble until the sixth and had a stretch of seven strikeouts in a row.
Offensively, the Pride bats started off slow and didn't produce any action until the 4th inning. Matt Sullivan led the inning off with a single and was moved to second with a sacrifice bunt from Nick McGill. Tyler Raymond then singled to left scoring Sullivan which tied the game at one. Raymond advanced to second on passed ball and with two outs freshmen Nathan Helke recorded his first collegiate hit with a base hit up the middle giving the Pride the lead.
In the bottom of the 6th, Haag would see his day end leaving with one out and the bases loaded. After recording the first out, Haag walked the following hitter. The next batter hit a groundball to short and Alex Delk took his only play to first but his throw was wide. With two on, Haag hit the next batter and then turned the ball over to Helke. Helke had the first hitter fly out the center but it was deep enough to tie the game. With runners on 1st and 2nd and two outs, a sharp groundball ate up Austin Downing and the ball trickled away from him scoring the go-ahead run. Helke ended the inning with a strikeout and the Pride entered the 7th down a run.
With one out, Delk reached on an error to get things started. Pinch runner Dustin Cottrell entered the game and took off on a steal and was safe when the shortstop dropped the throw. Paul Wilson then grounded out to short moving the games tying run to third and giving Jon Lowe the chance to play hero. Lowe laced a line drive to right that was misplayed by the leftfielder and allowed him to not only knock in a run but get all the way to third. Then Sullivan hit a two strike line drive to right to give Sinclair the lead for good. Helke struck out two in the bottom half of the 7th to earn the win.
Final Score: Sinclair 3 University of the Cumberlands JV 2
WP: Nathan Helke 1.2IP 2H 3K's
Offensive Leaders: Jon Lowe 2-3 RS 3B RBI, Matt Sullivan 2-4 RS RBI, Tyler Raymond 1-3 RS RBI, Nathan Helke 1-3 RBI.