Baseball | Wed, May 19, 2021
Story by: Freed-Hardeman University
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Lions baseball team (28-24) knocked off St. Thomas (34-21) 7-6 in a dramatic elimination game on Tuesday to keep its season alive and advance in the NAIA Opening Round Montgomery Bracket.
After going down 2-0 through three innings, the Lions came out in the top of the fifth and did all of their damage, scoring seven runs to take a five-run lead.
It started with a single from Dom Pisano to lead the inning off who then stole second. With one out, Dylan Lott, Christian Busby and Zach Sanders all drew walks, which scored Pisano to make it a one-run deficit.
A wild pitched brought Lott in to tie the game, and then a two-out intentional walk to Josh Sears loaded the bases for Beau Simpson who singled, scoring Busby and Sanders to give the Lions a 4-2 lead.
A two-out walk to Von Watson loaded the bases again, and in Pisano’s second at-bat of the inning, he hit a bases-clearing double to give the Lions a 7-2 lead.
Drama ensued in the bottom of the fifth after St. Thomas scored a run to make it 7-3 and then had two runners on base with two outs.
Chris Schoeller stepped to the plate and hit one over the left-field wall that was originally called foul. But after the umpires got together to discuss the play, they overturned the original call, giving Schoeller a three-run home run to make it 7-6.
Tyler Duskin got the start in the game and pitched a career-high seven and one-third innings. After the dramatic fifth inning, he was able to subdue the Bobcats for two and one-third innings to keep the Lions 7-6 lead before Connor Creasy entered to close it out.
Creasy came in and struck out the first four batters he saw, two to close out the eighth inning and two to start the ninth inning, before he forced a ground ball to Lott at short, who got the assist on the 6-3 putout and give the Lions the win.
Duskin struck out a career-high eight batters in the win, followed by a five-strikeout save from Creasy, his second of the year.
Pisano went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI’s and a stolen base. Simpson drove in two runs in the win, and Sanders went 2-for-3 with two walks and one RBI.
The Lions will face top-seeded Vanguard for the second time of the Opening Round, this time with the season on the line. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner will face Faulkner University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Montgomery Bracket Championship, with the if-necessary game scheduled for Thursday.
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