Cougars Sweep Northwestern Ohio 11-1 and
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
1 Boxscore |
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (3-6-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team
swept a non-conference doubleheader from the
University of Northwestern Ohio by the
scores of 11-1 and 7-6 on Tuesday afternoon
at sunny Cougar Field.
(4-0) got off to a good start in the first
game when MVNU took advantage of an error to
plate four unearned runs in the bottom of
the first inning for an early 4-0 lead.
Sophomore designated hitter Seth Eller
plated the first run with an RBI double,
sophomore third baseman Jeff Stone drove in
a run with a ground out, and sophomore
outfielder Robert Kane added a two-out,
two-run double to cap off the inning.
The Racers (7-5), who received a vote in
the NAIA preseason poll, took advantage of a
pair of walks and a pair of wild pitches to
plate a run in the top of the third inning
as a double by Dylan Brammer made it 4-1.
However, a pair of pickoffs by junior
left-hander Justin Brown helped the Cougars
avoid giving up a big inning.
extended its lead to 8-1 in the bottom of
the third inning when freshman outfielder
Jake Dickerson had an RBI triple to right
center and came around to score on a ground
ball to first base by Kane, who reached on
an error. Freshman second baseman Sterling
Harpst followed with a two-run homer to
The Cougars capped off the
scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning
when Kane singled in Dickerson who led off
with a double. Kane later scored on a
bases-loaded walk to junior shortstop Jordan
Doherty, and MVNU invoked the 10-run mercy
rule on senior first baseman Josh Roberts'
single to leftfield as the Cougars prevailed
Brown (1-0) earned the victory
in just the third start of his career as he
tossed his first complete game and allowed
just two hits, five walks, and one run over
five innings of work with four strikeouts.
Justin Binegar (0-2) started and took
the loss for Northwestern Ohio. He gave up
six hits, one walk, and eight runs (only
three earned) in just 2.1 innings of work
with one strikeout. Austin Park, Adam
Ashman, and Derek Roop all saw action on the
mound in relief for the Racers.
led MVNU by going 2-for-3 with four RBI, two
runs scored, and two stolen bases. Dickerson
also went 2-for-2 with three runs scored,
while Roberts added a pair of hits.
Northwestern Ohio collected both of its hits
in the game in the top of the third inning
on Brammer's double and a double by Kevin
"I thought we really set the
tone in the first inning of game one," said
MVNU coach Keith Veale. "Justin went to work
with a quick 1-2-3 inning, which allowed us
to get the lead early. Seth got it started
with an RBI double, Jeff had a productive
two-strike RBI ground ball, and Robert
finished the inning with another two-strike
RBI double. Seven of the eight hitters in
the first inning were hitting with two
strikes and they all had quality at bats."
"This was another game where we got
production at the bottom of the order,"
Veale added. "Robert was on base three
times, Sterling put a good swing on a ball
in the third, and (freshman catcher) Kevin
(Chaffin) was on base three times. That
really makes things tough on the opposing
pitchers when there are no soft spots in the
lineup. Justin did a nice job on the mound
battling through his innings. Once we got
through the third inning with him, he threw
another couple of solid innings. I think he
will continue to improve."
Cougars found themselves trailing early in
the second game as two singles, two hit
batsmen, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly in
foul ground, and an error helped the Racers
take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first
MVNU got two of the runs back
in the bottom of the first inning to pull
within 3-2 as one run came in on a wild
pitch and Eller plated the second run with
an RBI single.
extended its lead to 4-2 in the top of the
third inning when Fabian Placencia led off
with a double and later came around to score
on a two-out, run-scoring single by Ben
Schubert to left center.
remained that way until the bottom of the
fifth inning when the Cougars took their
first lead of the game. The first run came
in on a wild pitch, and then Roberts
(pictured below) and Eller
hit consecutive pitches well over the
leftfield fence for back-to-back home runs
to put MVNU in front 5-4.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the
Racers answered in the top of the sixth
inning. With one out and runners at second
and third, two runs came in on a wild pitch
by freshman lefty reliever Cameron Juhasz
when sophomore catcher Greg Travis could not
find the ball in time as Northwestern Ohio
went back on top 6-5.
Cougars knotted the score at 6-6 on a wild
pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Then, MVNU took a 7-6 lead when Travis
reached on an error by Alex McKinstry, the
Racers' second baseman.
leadoff walk to Pacencia in the top of the
seventh inning, the Cougars called on senior
right-hander Jeff Estep to close the door.
He promptly retired the next three batters
and left the potential tying run at third
base as MVNU prevailed 7-6.
right-handed pitcher Darren Athey started
and worked 5.1 innings and allowed five
hits, three walks, and six runs (five
earned) with one strikeout as he made his
first career start after 33 consecutive
relief appearances. Juhasz (1-0) picked up
the win in relief as he allowed a walk but
recorded two outs including a strikeout.
Estep notched his first career save in 24
appearances as he tossed the scoreless top
of the seventh inning.
started and gave up nine hits and five runs
over five innings with three strikeouts for
the Racers. Ben Ehgoetz (0-1) took the loss
in relief as he did not record an out and
gave up one hit, one walk, and two runs
while facing just two batters. Ryan Staton
recorded the final three outs for
3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Cougars as
he scored two more runs. Eller and Kane
added two hits apiece, while freshman
outfielder Andrew Fila stole two more bases
to finish with four steals in the
doubleheader. After having just 10 home runs
all last season, MVNU now has seven home
runs through its first four games this year
with six different players accounting for
Northwestern Ohio was led
offensively by Schubert, who drove in two
runs, and Placencia and Pichi Torres, who
"This game had a
different feel to it compared to the first
three games of this season," said Veale. "We
found ourselves behind early and looking
uphill most of the game. Darren struggled in
the first inning with a couple of hit
batsmen that cost us. The encouraging sign
was that he did settle in and get us through
five innings. I was very encouraged with Cam
coming in for his first collegiate action
and got us out of the sixth inning. We were
unfortunate with the wild pitch scoring two
runs, but I liked what I saw. When we walked
the leadoff hitter in the top of the
seventh, we wanted to see what Jeff could do
in a closing situation. He went right at the
hitters and gut us a victory. That was
another good sign."
"All in all, we
are pleased with the day," Veale continued.
"We faced a team with 10 games under their
belt and we came out on top twice. We need
to get our pitchers to attack the strike
zone more consistently. I did see a lot of
things I like, however. We ran the bases
much better. We showed some pop with the
bats again. I thought for the most part we
played well defensively, and we made two or
three outstanding plays on defense."
The Cougars will now turn their focus to
their first-ever Mid-Central College
Conference series as MVNU will travel to
Mason, Ohio on Friday and Saturday to face
two-time defending MCC regular-season
champion Taylor University in a pair of
doubleheaders. Action against the No. 25
Trojans will get under way at 1 p.m. on
Friday and noon on Saturday at Prasco Park.