Cougars Drop a Pair at No. 10 Spring
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
1 Boxscore |
SPRING ARBOR, Mich. (3-29-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team
dropped both games of a Mid-Central College
Conference doubleheader at NAIA No. 10
Spring Arbor (Mich.) University on Thursday
afternoon as the Cougars fell 9-2 and 9-8.
In the first game, host Spring Arbor (23-2,
8-2 MCC) broke open a scoreless contest with
six runs in the bottom of the third inning
with four hits, one walk, one hit batsman,
and one MVNU error as the host Cougars
Spring Arbor tacked on another run in the
bottom of the fourth inning and then two
more in the bottom of the sixth inning to
build a 9-0 lead as they game moved to the
top of the seventh inning.
MVNU (14-10, 5-5 MCC) avoided being shut out
in the top of the seventh inning when the
visiting Cougars got RBI singles from
sophomore third baseman Jeff Stone and
junior shortstop Jordan Doherty to pull
within 9-2 before the final out was
Seth Eller (0-2) took the loss on the mound
for MVNU as he surrendered eight hits, five
walks, and nine runs (seven earned) as he
went all six innings and struck out three
Jerry Ferris earned the win for Spring Arbor
as he scattered 13 hits and two runs over
seven innings with two strikeouts.
Offensively, sophomore outfielder Sean
Fleming and freshman catcher Clint Spencer
each collected three hits for MVNU, while
Eller added two hits as the Cougars stranded
12 base runners in the game. Meanwhile, Mark
Weist had three hits for Spring Arbor, and
Derek Brown added two hits.
"When you look at the scoreboard at the end
of the game, you probably would think we
came out on top," said MVNU coach Keith
Veale. "We out-hit them and we had fewer
errors, but we got killed in the run column.
I thought we really had some good at bats
with very little to show for it. Looking
back, it was the basses on balls, hit
batsmen, and an untimely error that blew the
game open for them. When we give them that
much help, they are going to make us pay.
They do such a good job of putting pressure
on the defense with quality at bats and base
The second game started much the same way
that the first game did as Spring Arbor
built a 7-0 lead through the first three
innings with three runs in both the bottom
of the first and second innings and one run
scored in the bottom of the third inning.
Then, in the top of the fourth inning, MVNU
began to show signs of life as the Cougars
plated three runs to pull within 7-3.
Freshman outfielder Jake Dickerson had a
two-run double, and freshman second baseman
Sterling Harpst drove in Dickerson with an
After Spring Arbor got one of the runs back
in the bottom of the fourth inning to
increase its lead to 8-3, MVNU inched closer
with three more runs in the top of the sixth
inning to close the gap to 8-6. Sophomore
outfielder Robert Kane, Eller, and Stone
each drove in a run in the frame.
The visiting Cougars knotted the score at
8-8 in the top of the seventh inning on a
two-out, two-run single by senior first
baseman Josh Roberts. However, they left the
bases loaded without taking the lead.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning,
Spring Arbor pushed across the winning run
with one out after a walk and a pair of
singles to post a 9-8 victory.
Senior right-hander Jerrob Decker started
for MVNU and lasted three-plus innings as he
gave up seven hits, two walks, and eight
runs (six earned) with four strikeouts.
Senior right-hander Jeff Estep (2-1) tossed
the final 3.1 innings and allowed just three
hits, two walks, and one run with one
strikeout as he took the loss.
Chris Walerski started and lasted 3.1
innings for Spring Arbor as he gave up five
hits, four walks, and three runs with one
strikeout. After Steven Kolb walked the only
batter he faced on four straight pitches,
Nick Lockman surrendered two hits, one walk,
and three runs in 1.2 innings of work with
two strikeouts. Zach Wedesky earned the
victory despite allowing three hits, three
walks, and two runs over the final two
Offensively, the bottom three hitters in the
MVNU lineup did most of the damage as Harpst
went 3-for-4 and Doherty and Fleming each
collected two hits. The visiting Cougars
once again stranded 12 runners on base.
Maverick Nichols and Shane Street paced
Spring Arbor with two hits apiece.
"We talked between games about trying to get
on top early to get them out of their
comfort zone," said Veale. "We barely
finished the talk and found ourselves down
7-0 after three innings. So much for the
talk. We finally strung some things together
to score three runs in the fourth innings.
We got into their bullpen and kept
competing. We got the go-ahead run to the
plate in the sixth inning and left a couple
runners on. Again in the seventh inning, we
had the go-ahead runs in scoring position,
but could only tie it up. I really like how
we battled back, even though we didn't pull
out the win."
"At this point in our season, it is about
improvement," Veale added. "We show signs of
being a force, but we must learn from our
mistakes. We are way too generous on the
mound, on defense, and on the base paths to
have consistent results. The club we played
today was a good illustration of that."
MVNU will return to action on Saturday with
another MCC doubleheader at home against
Spring Arbor. The first pitch of game one is
slated for 1 p.m. at Cougar Field.