Head coach Todd Reid has led the Tigers to back-to-back CCAC South Division titles
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — For the second straight season, the
Olivet Nazarene University baseball team has claimed the CCAC South Division title. With
two wins over Trinity Christian College (Ill.) on Saturday, April 27, the Tigers took the
outright crown by a half game and will play with the No. 2 seed in the postseason
tournament. They bounced back after a home loss on Friday, April 26, 12-6. Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) helped
provide the first win, throwing a complete game in the 17-4 win. In game two, the
Tigers needed five runs in the 10th inning to win 10-5.
In game one of the three game series, the Tigers (32-17, 21-9) fell
behind early, giving up two early runs as John Pikes doubled to score two runs.
The Trolls (21-20, 17-12) put four more runs on the board in the second with
four hits. Joseph Presutti homered to give them a 3-0 lead, and from there, they
scored three more. ONU fought back with three of their own in the second with
four hits and a Kevin Lasowski
(Schererville, Ind.) home run. The Trolls took a 10-3 lead in the fifth
after they began the inning with three hits. ONU made it 10-4 on a Dan Schneider (West Salem, Wis.)
home run, but Trinity Christian scored two more in the sixth and wouldn’t allow the
Tigers to get within striking distance.
Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais,
Ill.) started (6-4) and went a complete five innings, allowing 12 runs off 14 hits.
He struck out five. Ryan Archer (Moline,
Ill.) and Matt Webber (Kankakee,
Ill.) each threw two innings, giving up only one hit apiece.
The Trolls started Drew Chibe (4-3) who threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs off 10 hits. Mike Diebold and Benny Collesano pitched in
relief, allowing one run and three hits.
In game two on Saturday, Steven Beckham (8-1) won his eighth
game of the year, throwing his fourth complete game. He allowed four runs off
nine hits and struck out four.
Trinity Christian started Rick Tilquist (2-6) who went five
innings and gave up seven runs off 11 hits. Nate Tameling gave up five runs and
six hits without recording an out in the sixth, and Vincent Flores gave up five
runs — three earned — off six hits in 1 1/3 innings. Taylor Boice pitched 2/3
innings of relief and struck out two.
The Tigers went to work early on the Trolls, scoring four
runs in the first two innings. In the second, Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) made it 4-0 on a double. They scored two
more in the third when Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Ill.) hit a two-run home run that
scored Lasowski. The Trolls made it 6-2 in the bottom of the inning; but in the
last three innings, the Tigers scored 11 more runs to blow the game wide open. The
Tigers lone run in the fifth was a blast from Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.),
his eighth of the year. Ryan Kern
(Bloomington, Ill.) had one of the Tigers’ six doubles of the game that
scored Schneider and Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.). In the seventh inning, the
Tigers put up six more hits (23 total) that totaled five runs, including three
Game three was an exciting rubber game that would decide the
outright champion of the South Division. ONU got out to a 1-0 lead after Adrian
Perez hit a solo shot, his first of the year. They made it 3-0 in the third when
Perez singled to bring home Kern and Jordan
Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.). ONU kept things rolling as they scored again in the
fourth to make it 4-0 when Madison
Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) doubled and Fahy’s single scored the run.
Trinity Christian finally cut into the lead in the fourth with two runs as
Diebold and Presutti added RBIs. Olivet responded with their fifth run when
Ryan Kern hit his 12th home run of the season, fourth all-time for a
Tigers' single season. ONU kept the Trolls quiet again in the sixth; but in the
seventh, they put up a three-spot with the aid of two singles and an error.
Neither team managed a run in the eighth or ninth, so the game went into the 10th
inning with the Tigers scoring five runs off three hits. Schneider’s single
brought home the eventual game winner when Aaron
King (Pekin, Ill.) scored.
Madison Foster started and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two
runs off four hits. Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wis.) pitched two innings, allowing three
runs — two earned — off two hits. Paul Griffin (Pekin, Ill.) went 2/3 innings, and Kevin Lasowski (1-1) went the final three to earn the win, striking out two.
The Trolls started Joshua Sellers who went four innings allowing
four runs — two earned — off six hits. Danny Britt (6-5) ended up with the loss, allowing all five runs in the 10th.
During the three game series, the Tigers hit five home runs, seven
doubles, stole five bases and drew 15 walks. Dan Schneider was 9-for-11 with
five runs and six RBIs. Adrian Perez went 5-for-13 with three runs and five
RBIs. Matt Davenport went 6-for-13 with two runs and two RBIs. Kern went 6-for-14
with four RBIs and two runs. Josh Altmann went 4-for-10 with four RBIs and four
ONU will be begin postseason play Tuesday, April 30, starting at 2
p.m. The Tigers will play the University of St. Francis (Ill.) in a first round