Junior Steven Beckham threw a complete game on Friday and earned his third win against Purdue-North Central
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — After six days off due to inclement weather, the Olivet Nazarene University baseball team was finally able to host their 2013 home opener. The Tigers hosted conference foe Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) on Friday, the first of a three-game series the Tigers would play against the Panthers. Head Coach Todd Reid had to be pleased with the outcome as ONU exploded for 10 runs combined between the fifth and sixth innings in route to 12-2 win in seven. The win was the Tiger’s 17th straight home victory dating back to last season.
An outstanding effort by junior Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) (3-1) gave the Tigers (12-9, 1-1) a chance all day. He started his fourth game of the year and pitched a complete game for the second time in 2013. He only allowed two runs off nine hits and struck out two.
Neither team was able to put a run on the board until the bottom of the second when a double steal by Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) turned into a run when the catcher allowed Foster to score. In the top of the third, the Panthers (6-4, 2-2) tied the game at 1-1 when Anthony Olund doubled to score Anderson Spencer. The game remained tied until the top of the fifth when a sacrifice fly by Purdue-North Central’s Collins Willis scored Spencer for a second time. That’s when the flood gates opened for Olivet. In the bottom of the inning, they scored four. Three straight singles by Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.), Daniel Schneider (West Salem, Wis.) and Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) got these going. A walk by Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) scored the first run. Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.) brought home Schneider on a sacrifice fly, and Foster drove home Kern and Perez with the fourth single of the inning.
The Tigers poured it on in the sixth with six more runs. Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) doubled, Fahy walked, and Schneider singled to score Hayes for run number six. With two outs, Kern singled, scoring Fahy; and Davenport singled to score Kern and Schneider. Altmann connected for his first hit and drove home Stefan Sauder (Morton, Ill.). Haver singled for his first hit and scored Foster for the 11th run of the game. The Tigers only needed one more run in the seventh to end the game because of the 10-run rule. They would get it on a Kern sacrifice fly that scored Fahy.
For the Tigers, Schneider had three hits, one RBI and two runs. Fahy had two hits and three runs scored. Kern finished the day with two hits, three RBIs and two runs. Foster went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs. Matt Davenport had two hits with three RBIs.
Jordan Polito (0-2) started for the Panthers and allowed five runs — four earned — off eight hits in five innings of work. Donovan Rigel pitched 2/3 innings of relief and gave up six runs off five hits. Trevor Williams gave up the winning run for the Tigers in the seventh and pitched a total of 2/3 innings. He gave up one run off two hits.
For the Panthers, Anthony Olund finished with 3-for-4 with an RBI. Kevin Gates had two hits, and Collin Willis had the second RBI of the day for PUNC. Also, Anderson Spencer had one hit and scored both runs.
ONU will finish their three-game series against Purdue-North Central with a doubleheader on the road tomorrow at 12 p.m.