Cougars Sweep Bethel to Extend Winning
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
1 Boxscore |
MISHAWAKA, Ind. (4-7-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team
posted a pair of one-run victories on
Saturday afternoon at Bethel (Ind.) College
in Mid-Central College Conference action as
the Cougars prevailed 10-9 and 3-2 to extend
their winning streak to seven straight
In the first game, MVNU (21-11, 12-6 MCC)
jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top
of the first inning as sophomore designated
hitter Seth Eller had a two-run double and
sophomore third baseman Jeff Stone followed
with an RBI single.
the host Pilots (8-28, 1-17 MCC) pulled
within 3-1 with a run in the bottom of the
first inning, the Cougars went back to work
at the plate in the top of the second
inning. When the dust had settled, MVNU had
scored five runs to extend the lead to 8-1.
Senior first baseman Josh Roberts
(left) had the big blow in the
inning with a three-run homer, while the
other two runs scored on a wild pitch and an
The Cougars increased their lead to 9-1 in
the top of the fourth inning on an RBI
double by freshman outfielder Jake Dickerson
and MVNU appeared on its way to an easy win.
However, the big lead evaporated in the
bottom of the fifth inning when Bethel used
six hits and two errors to plate seven runs
as the Pilots closed the gap to 9-8. Ethan
Zartman's grand slam was the big hit in the
inning for the Pilots.
Roberts' second home run of the game and his
team-leading seventh of the season gave the
Cougars a little breathing run in the top of
the sixth inning as MVNU led 10-8.
Bethel plated a run in the bottom of the
sixth inning to pull within 10-9, but that
was as close as the Pilots would get as the
Cougars held on for the victory.
Sophomore right-hander Mike Kochheiser (5-0)
picked up the win for MVNU despite allowing
eight hits, two walks, and eight runs over
4.2 innings with four strikeouts. Freshman
lefty Cameron Juhasz notched his first
career save by tossing the final 2.1 innings
and giving up just one hit, one walk, and
one unearned run with one strikeout.
Jerrod Long (1-4) took the loss for Bethel
as he surrendered eight hits, four walks,
and eight runs over just 1.2 innings. JJ
DuBois tossed five innings and allowed just
four hits, two walks, and two runs, while
Colin Ullery registered the final out.
Offensively, Roberts finished 2-for-3 with
four RBI and three runs scored, while junior
shortstop Jordan Doherty went 3-for-4. Stone
and Dickerson also had two hits apiece for
the Cougars. Meanwhile, Zartman led the
Pilots by going 3-for-4 with four RBI, and
Cory Stoner had two hits and two RBI.
"This was a bizarre game," said MVNU coach
Keith Veale. "We came out of the gates
swinging the bats with authority. It seemed
like even our outs were hit hard. We were up
9-1 after four, and I was trying to figure
out how we could get some more guys in the
game, including maybe getting a few at bats
for some guys who haven't gotten game reps
in awhile. Then, the bottom of the fifth
happens. We were really scrambling trying to
find a way to get out of that inning. Josh
got us one back in the sixth and that ended
up being the difference. Cam came in and was
a savior for us on the mound. He has been
out for a couple weeks and his return could
not have been more timely."
After the first game slugfest, the second
game started out like it was headed in the
same direction. MVNU took a 2-0 lead in the
top of the first inning on an RBI groundout
by Eller and a run-scoring single by Stone
only to see the Pilots plate two runs of
their own in the bottom of the inning to
knot the score at 2-2.
Then, the game turned into a pitchers' duel
as junior right-hander Darren Athey (3-1)
and Luke Pepple (1-3) matched each other
scoreless inning for scoreless inning until
the game reached the top of the seventh
inning still tied at 2-2.
In the top of the seventh inning, sophomore
outfielder Sean Fleming led off the frame
for the Cougars with a single and moved to
second on a passed ball. Then, after the
next two batters were retired, he came
around to score on a single to right by
sophomore outfielder Robert Kane to give
MVNU a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Athey
retired the first two batters before walking
Stoner. At that point, Veale turned to
senior right-hander Jeff Estep to finish out
the game and he did just thought by inducing
Casey Weaver to ground out as the Cougars
Athey earned the win as he allowed just
three hits, three walks, and two runs over
6.2 innings with five strikeouts. Estep
notched his fourth save of the year by
retiring the only batter he faced.
Pepple took the loss for the Pilots as he
scattered seven hits, one walk, and three
runs (one earned) over 6.2 innings with two
strikeouts. Brant Jones retired the only
batter he faced.
Kane and Fleming led MVNU with two hits
apiece, while Steven Steele had two of
Bethel's three hits including a triple.
"We started early again in game two, but it
was short-lived as they tied up the game in
the bottom of the first," said Veale. "We
left the bases loaded in the second, and I
was thinking this could be another high
scoring affair. However, both pitchers
settled in and kept the offenses in check
until the seventh. Sean got on base to lead
off the seventh with an infield single and
we got a wild pitch to get him to second. We
almost stranded him there, but Robert came
through with a big two-out, two-strike RBI
single to center. Darren got two quick outs
in the bottom of the inning, but then he
walked the next hitter. It wasn't time to
mess around, so we brought Jeff in and he
got the groundout to end the game."
"At times today, it was not pretty," Veale
added. "But, I did like the way we stayed
poised when the games were tight. We didn't
lose our composure and found a way to get
two conference wins. I think the guys will
be glad to get back home. It was a long, yet
productive road trip."
With the two victories and based on other
MCC results over the weekend, the Cougars
have now moved into third place in the
conference standings. MVNU will be back in
action on Tueday when the Cougars will host
Bethel in another MCC doubleheader that will
start at 2 p.m. at Cougar Field.