MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Following a season opener loss, the Tigers were ready to get back to work on day two of the weekend series against Bethel University (Tenn.). However, the final two games were just as unfriendly as the first. After holding an early two-run lead, ONU dropped game two by a score of 9-5 and lost game three 6-1.
In game two of the three-game series, junior Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) (0-1) took the ball and threw four innings, allowing seven runs off six hits, walking four. Freshman Matt Webber (Kankakee, Ill.) threw one inning, allowing one run off three hits; and freshman Garrett Saunders (Seffner, Fla.) finished the game, allowing one run off two hits in one inning of relief.
The Tiger (0-3) bats got going in the second inning after Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Ill.) reached on an error, and Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.) scored. Then Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) singled, scoring Aaron King (Pekin, Ill.) to give ONU a 2-0 lead. The Tigers failed to score again until the top of the seventh inning when the score was already 9-2. Dan Schneider (West Salem , Wis.), Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) and Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) were credited with RBIs.
For Bethel (8-2), Jason Overton (1-1) started and went six innings, giving up two unearned runs off two hits and struck out five. Dustin Warmath allowed three earned runs in 2/3 innings of relief.
Fahy went 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run. Kern and Davenport had the other two hits in the game. Aaron King scored two runs for the Tigers.
For the Wildcats, Celtic Rush went 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs. Tyler Murphy went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run.
In game three of the series, senior Paul Griffin (Pekin, Ill.) (0-1) took the mound and went 3 2/3 innings allowing three runs — two earned — off three hits. Junior Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) pitched 1 /3 innings, allowing three runs off one hit and walking three. Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.) finished the game, allowing one hit.
The Tigers' pitchers got into trouble in the middle innings, when Griffin allowed two early walks and two singles in the fourth, giving up two runs to go down 3-0. In the sixth inning, Beckham gave up two walks and a single in his first three batters. Lasowski wasn’t able to stop the bleeding, giving up a two-run single to his second batter.
It took ONU until the seventh inning to post a run on the board. Prior to that, they had scattered five hits but with no results. The Tigers finally posted a score when Adrian Perez singled, scoring Josh Altmann. Justin Fahy finished 2-for-4, Perez went 2-for-4, Altmann went 1-for-2, and Alex Cavender (Momence, Ill.) and Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) both had a hit.
For Bethel, Blake Chandler (1-0) went the distance, allowing only one run off seven hits and striking out six.
At the plate, the Wildcats' David Gardner went 1-for-1 with three RBIs. Martin Key went 1-for-2 with one RBI and one run.
The Tigers will travel to Mayfield, Ky. for a three-game series with Mid-Continent Univeristy (Ky.) starting on Friday, February 22.