Great Pitching Performances Lead WPU to Pair of Wins

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

by Wade Steinlage

Springfield, Mo.–The Statesmen baseball team was able to get back on the field after a nine day layoff, to open up their Heart of America Athletic Conference schedule in a doubleheader with Evangel.

It was a pair of brilliant starting pitching performances that propelled William Penn (12-3, 2-0 Heart) to its first two wins in conference play over a quality Evangel (11-7, 2-4 Heart) squad.

WPU 2, EU 0

Chase Stratton (Jr., Clearfield Utah, Sports Management) was tabbed for the game one start and he delivered in his Heart debut. The junior went the distance while tossing a shutout in the process and striking out 10. With the win, Stratton now improves to 3-0 on the year with a 1.82 ERA and 49 K’s.

At the plate, WPU was held in check for most of the game by a good pitching performance from Evangel but got their opportunity in the bottom of the third and took advantage. Adrian Garcia (Jr., Ontario, Calif., Mechanical Engineering) led off the inning with a walk followed by a Blaze Speas (Sr., O’Fallon, Mo., Wellness and Recreation) single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Later in the inning, Garcia and Speas pulled off a double steal to put them both in scoring position. Anthony Huggins (So., Davenport, Fla., Biology) then came to the dish and was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Seth Reisbeck (Sr., Meridian, Id., History/Government). Reisbeck promptly singled to center field scoring Garcia to put the Statesmen on the board. Zach Edgar (Jr., Elgin, Ill., Business Management) followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Speas and that gave the navy and gold all they needed in route to the victory.

Reisbeck had two knocks in the win while Speas and Jarrett Hunt (Jr., Logan, Utah, Digital Communication) finished with a hit apiece.

WPU 4, EU 3

Lionel Colon (Jr., Vieques, P.R., Business Management) toed the rubber for William Penn in game two of the doubleheader. He tossed a complete game of his own while limiting the Crusaders to just three runs to pick up his third win in a Statesmen uniform.

After the top of the third, WPU found themselves down 3-0 but responded in the bottom of the inning. Nathan Ball (Sr., Moses Lake, Wash., Psychology) led off the inning with a single and later scored on a single by Reisbeck. Later in the inning, Edgar hit a run-scoring single of his own, plating Reisbeck and at the end of three William Penn was only trailing by a run.

In the fourth, the Statesmen ignited another rally. After reaching on a fielder’s choice and swiping second base, Ball crossed home plate on a double to right field off the bat of Speas to tie the game at three.

After two big shutdown innings by Colon, William Penn scrapped out a run in the sixth to take the lead. Garcia led off the inning and reached based on a dropped third strike and eventually scored on a squeeze play executed by Dominic Bravo (Jr., Downey, Calif., Digital Communication).

Colon shut the door in the seventh to help give his team improve to 12-3 on the season, the best start through 15 games since 2007.

Speas finished the game 3-4 to improve his batting average to .475 on the season. Bravo, Reisbeck, Edgar, and Ball all managed to log a hit in the win.

Next Up: William Penn will host Lincoln (Ill.) in its home opener, barring any inclement weather, on March 16th at Penn Field with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.

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Posted by on Mar 10 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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