Senior Kevin Lasowski finished with two hits, one double, and two RBIs against #24 Madonna on Thursday
LAKELAND, Fla. — Following a day off, the Olivet Nazarene University baseball team took the field against the first nationally ranked team on the schedule, the No. 24 Madonna University (Mich.) Crusaders. However, Madonna didn’t allow the upset to happen as they downed the Tigers 9-3 and 6-3. The Tigers weren’t short of hits as they produced 17, but committed eight errors, allowing nine unearned runs.
Senior Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wis.) (2-1) started his fourth game of the year, and in six innings of work, allowed five runs — three earned — off seven hits. He struck out seven and walked two. Matt Webber (Kankakee, Ill.) allowed two unearned runs in 2/3 innings, and Parker Shelton (Columbus, Ind.) allowed two more unearned runs in 1/3 innings.
For Madonna, Peter Renaud (2-0) went five innings, allowing three runs — two earned — off six hits. Randall Stempek recorded the save, pitching two innings and allowing only one hit.
The Tigers (7-6) took the lead early in the bottom of the second when Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) doubled, scoring Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.). The Tigers held a one run lead until the fifth when Madonna (10-5) tied the game on a Ryan Lech single that scored Shane Dokey. The following inning, the Crusaders tacked on four more runs on five hits and two errors. Justin Cook and Ryan Lech both had RBIs in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, ONU scored twice to make it 5-3. Two batters led off the inning hit by pitch, and Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.) doubled to score Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.). Davenport scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers tried to give themselves a chance in the seventh but gave up four more runs, which sealed the deal for the Crusaders.
Hayes and Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) each had two hits. Daniel Schneider (West Salem, Wis.) and Nick Jones (Bourbonnais, Ill.) added hits.
For the Crusaders, Justin Cook went 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs. Ryan Lech went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Brad Lineberry added two hits and two runs.
In game two, junior Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) (1-1) took the mound and threw 5 1/3 innings for the Tigers and allowed five runs — three earned — off 10 hits. Freshman Joel Woodbridge (Brockton, Mass.) allowed one unearned run, and Garrett Saunders (Seffner, Fla.) gave up two hits in 2/3 innings.
Justin Hicks started for the Crusaders and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run off five hits. Adam Prashad (1-0) got the win, allowing two runs off five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.
Unlike in game one, the Tigers allowed the Crusaders to take the early lead. In the bottom of the third, Brad Lineberry put Madonna on the board with a groundout RBI. The next batter, Spencer Sarel, reached on an error, scoring Mike Tibbits. Each team scored in the fourth as the Tigers’ Kevin Lasowski singled to score Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.). ONU scored again in the sixth to make it 3-2 after Matt Davenport hit his third home run of the season with two outs. That would be the closest the Tigers would get as Crusader bats exploded for three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Fahy tacked on two more hits and an RBI while eight different Tigers finished with one hit apiece.
For Madonna, Donny Holland went 2-for-3 with one RBI. Mike Tibbits had three hits, one RBI and one run. John Lauro went 3-for-3 with two runs.
ONU will continue play in Florida with a 3 p.m. (EST) game against Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio) and a 6 p.m. (EST) game with Clearwater Christian College (Fla.).