Senior Matt Davenport finished hit a grandslam and a two-run homerun and finished with six RBIs in the Tigers' loss
MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Every year as the month of February approaches the midway point the ONU Baseball team readies for another season. The 2013 version of the Tigers found themselves up against a familiar foe, Bethel University (Tenn.). For the past six seasons ONU has played an opening three-game series in McKenzie, Tenn. against the Wildcats. Bethel leads the series 4-10-1 over those six seasons including yesterday’s 19-9 loss in eight innings.
Despite a quick start by senior Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.), ONU trailed 12-7 after five innings. Davenport hit a grandslam in the first inning and another two-run homerun in the third to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. However, the Tigers had a fifth inning they would rather forget causing Olivet to trail the rest of the game. Freshman Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) (0-1), in his first collegiate appearance, replaced senior Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wis.) in the fifth inning and gave up seven hits and eight runs – four earned.
After the Tigers led 6-0 after 2 2/3 innings of play the Wildcats responded with two runs of their own. The Tigers couldn’t answer back leaving three runner’s on base in the fourth. Bethel scored two more in the fourth after two errors hurt the Tigers. ONU led 7-4 in the fifth after a pinch-hit Trey Ballard (Champaign, Ill.) RBI. That’s when the wheels fell off in the bottom of the fifth inning. The closest the Tigers would get the rest of the game was 17-9 after Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) brought in Davenport on a sac fly in the seventh inning.
Heller started and went four innings allowing four hits, five runs – two earned – and struck out five. The final one and two-thirds innings were pitched by Tiger freshman: Joel Woodbridge (Brockton, Mass.), Matt Webber (Kankakee, Ill.), and Parker Shelton (Columbus, Ind.).
The Bethel pitching staff had a rough outing through the first three and two-thirds innings as Turner Bush gave up six earned runs on five hits and walked five. Cade Chambers pitched the final four and one-third innings only allowing three hits, three runs – two earned – and struck out four.
Davenport finished 2-for-2 with four runs, two walks, and six RBIs. Senior Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D) went 2-for-4 with one run scored and Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) went 2-for-4 with two runs.
The Wildcats leadoff batter, Brian Ferrell, finished 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler Murphy went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Also, four other Wildcats had at two hits and at least two RBIs and they scored a total of eight runs.
The Tigers will finish their three-game series with Bethel with a doubleheader today. The first pitch scheduled for noon.