Baseball | Tue, May 18, 2021
Story by: University of the Cumberlands Athletics
Williamsburg, KY – Reinhardt held the Patriots off the scoreboard until the final inning to eliminate the hosts from the Opening Round bracket. The tough loss capped the Patriots impressive 2021 season and their hopes at an appearance in Idaho.
In his final collegiate at bat, Bryan Leef broke up the shutout with an absolute moonshot to left field and into the night sky. It was his 28th of the season and 57th of his Patriots career, both figures are best all-time for the baseball program. The homerun moved the team to 102 this season to tie the program’s record-high back in 2018; Leef was also a part of that squad with 20 in his first year.
Colton Easterwood drew the loss in his final collegiate outing on the hill. He tossed 115 pitches from the mound to senior Rolando Rodriguez behind the plate in six innings of work. He dropped eight on strikes, moving his career strikeout total and program-lead to 293 Ks in his five seasons. This season, he has delivered 119 strikeouts, two off matching the season record.
Also concluding his time pitching for the Patriots, Garrett Vathroder closed out the final two innings of work. He gave up a single hit while dealing four strikeouts, not earning a run. The combined strikeout total of 12 moved the Patriots program-high for a season to 510.
It was the Patriots batting that could not find a lot of success against the Eagles’ left-hander. Leef’s homer in the ninth was the first hit the Patriots had since the third inning. Candido Encarnacion singled through the right side in the second followed by Pedro Nazario through the left shortly after, both stranded on. Over Torres notched a hit to outfield grass an inning later, also left on base.
Reinhardt tallied runs on the Patriots early, scoring one run in the second and third apiece, and two in the fourth for a 4-0 margin for most of the game. The Eagles tallied their final run in the bottom of the eighth.
The loss followed yesterday to open the tournament, 6-2 to Point Park. The Williamsburg Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round continues tomorrow without the Patriots in it; Reinhardt plays LSU Shreveport at noon and the winner faces the undefeated Point Park Pioneers right after.
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