Senior Kevin Lasowski picked up two saves in doubleheader against Cornerstone on Saturday
LAKELAND, Fla. — ONU's baseball team started off their annual spring break trip right. On day one of their 10-day trip, the Tigers claimed two victories against Cornerstone University (Mich.). ONU defeated the Golden Eagles 4-3 in game one and 9-4 in the second game on Saturday, March 2. Thanks again to solid pitching, they allowed only seven hits and three earned runs in two games.
Senior Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wis.) (2-0) started for his third game of the year and threw six innings, allowing only three runs – one earned – off one hit while striking out 12 batters. Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.) (2) came in and got the save in the seventh inning by striking out all three batters.
The Tigers (4-3) got going early with three runs in the first two innings off four hits and capitalizing on two Eagle (0-5) errors. A double by senior Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) and a sacrifice fly by Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.) helped bring in runs in the first. In the second, Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) reached on an error, bringing home Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.). Perez and Fahy scored two other runs for ONU.
Through the first four innings, Heller only allowed four hits and after another run for Olivet in the fifth when Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) scored unearned. Cornerstone finally woke up in the bottom of the fifth, putting three runs on the board. However, the Tigers contributed as two walks and two errors allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate. The Tigers pitchers were able to settle down and allow only one more hit the rest of the way.
The Cougar starter was Brandon Willard (0-1), who went the distance and gave up four runs — three earned — off five hits, walking five. Geren Albury finished 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.
Game two was very similar to the first as junior Steve Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) threw six innings, allowing four earned – two earned -- off four hits, striking out nine. Joel Woodbridge (Brockton, Mass.) came in and walked two batters. Sophomore Ryan Archer (Moline, Ill.) recorded an out. Finally, Kevin Lasowski (3) finished the game with two more strikeouts for his second save of the afternoon.
However, it didn’t start great for Beckham as he gave up two quick runs in the first inning when he gave up a double and then a run on a wild pitch. The Eagles second hit of the inning scored the second run. Cornerstone scored again in the third inning when Nick Covello doubled for the second time in the game and stole third. He eventually scored on an error during the next at-bat.
The first three innings were even better for the Tigers as they scored seven runs off five hits. Ryan Kern got it started in the first after Justin Fahy stole second and third, and Adrian Perez walked. Kern followed it up with a three-run homerun to give the Tigers the lead 3-2. In the second inning, Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Ill.) gave the Tigers a two-run cushion when he brought in Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.). In the third inning, Olivet loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Then Kevin Lasowski was hit-by-pitch for a RBI. That’s when Jordan Hayes broke the game wide open with a two RBI single, scoring Davenport and Kern for a 7-3 lead.
ONU gave up an unearned run in the sixth but got two more back in the bottom of the inning. Josh Altmann brought in Jordan Hayes with a sac fly, and Justin Fahy singled to score Foster.
Kern went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs, and Jordan Hayes went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and one run.
For the Eagles, Daniel Marlow (0-1) went 2 1/3 innings allowing five runs – four earned – off three hits. Kyle Marburger finished the game allowing four runs off five hits, striking out four.
Overall, the Tigers stole nine bases against Cornerstone. They are now fifth in the NAIA in stolen bases per game (3.0).
The Tigers will continue play in Florida with a doubleheader against Southeastern University (Fla.) on Monday, March 4, starting at 3 p.m. (EST).