Cougars Clinch MCC Tournament Berth with
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
1 Boxscore |
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (4-24-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team
clinched a berth in the upcoming five-team
Mid-Central College Conference Tournament as
the Cougars split a conference doubleheader
at the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on
Tuesday after as MVNU won the opener 7-0 and
dropped the nightcap 4-3.
first game, MVNU (28-18, 19-13 MCC) took a
3-0 lead in the top of the second inning as
junior shortstop Jordan Doherty and freshman
catcher Clint Spencer both had RBI singles
in the inning and sophomore outfielder
Robert Kane added a sacrifice fly.
The lead grew to 7-0 for the Cougars in the
top of the third inning as freshman second
baseman Sterling Harpst had a two-run single
and Kane and sophomore outfielder Sean
Fleming both added another RBI single each.
seven runs were more than enough run support
for MVNU senior right-hander Kyle Barr
improved to 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA as he
notched his third shutout of the year. Barr
allowed just six hits and one walk over
seven innings while striking out 10 batters.
Barr moves into a tie for sixth place on the
Cougars' career win list with former MVNU
standout Marty McLeary as he has now won 26
career games. He also ranks third in school
history in career strikeouts (274), sixth in
career innings pitched (274.2), and third in
career shutouts (8).
(4-7) took the loss for Saint Francis as he
gave up 15 hits, one walk, and seven runs
over six innings with three strikeouts.
Tyler Painter worked the final inning and
allowed just one hit along with one
Kane led MVNU by going
4-for-4, while Dickerson and Doherty had
three hits apiece. Fleming and Harpst also
registered two hits each. However, the
victory was costly as both senior first
baseman Josh Roberts and freshman
McCambridge suffered leg injuries during
their respective at bats in the top of the
"The day started out as
a real downer," said MVNU coach Keith Veale.
"In the first half inning, two of our first
three hitters go down in pain after they hit
first base - Kenny with a hamstring and Josh
with a knee. It sort of cast a dark shadow
to start the day."
"Kyle's a great
guy to have on the mound to handle adversity
and he really responded," Veale said. "Our
offense got rolling and did a much better
job today, staying on top of the ball. The
wind was blowing in stiff, and I liked our
effort at the plate."
(30-21, 24-8 MCC) struck first in the second
game as the host Cougars plated an unearned
run to go on top 1-0.
remained that way until the top of the
fourth inning when Doherty knotted the game
at 1-1 with a two-out single to centerfield.
Saint Francis responded with a single
run in both the bottom of the fourth and the
bottom of the fifth innings as they regained
the lead 3-1. Both runs were unearned as the
result of three combined errors.
battled back to tie the game at 3-3 in the
top of the seventh inning. Harpst drove in
the first run with a single to rightfield
with one out. Fleming added a two-out single
with Barr sliding in just ahead of the tag
on a throw to the plate.
the bottom of the seventh inning, Saint
Francis earned a walk-off win with a two-out
single to right center by Ben Martin as the
host Cougars prevailed 4-3.
lefty Justin Brown (6-4) took the tough loss
as he worked 6.2 innings and scattered 10
hits and five walks with just four runs
allowed and only one of them earned. He also
struck out three batters.
Hunsucker (8-3) earned the victory for Saint
Francis as he gave up just six hits, one
walk, and three runs over seven innings with
Dickerson was one of six MVNU players to
register a hit and he doubled. Meanwhile,
Derek Coverstone, Tyler Gregory, and Dan
Beer each collected two hits apiece for
"This game was won (or
should I say lost) on defense," said Veale.
"We were so sloppy on defense that it was
amazing that we were even in the game.
Justin did a nice job of staying focused in
spite of our breakdowns defensively. Our
guys did put together a nice rally in the
seventh inning, but in the end it was our
poor defense that cost us the game."
"On the day, we managed to stay competitive
in spite of our injuries early," Veale
added. "We were so banged up that Kyle had
to hit for himself in the first game after
not having an at bat all year. We also used
pitchers to run bases in game two, and we
almost pulled it out. We were a pretty
resilient team today. It was a gritty
Despite the loss in the
second game, MVNU has now qualified for the
five-team MCC Tournament that will begin on
May 2 at Taylor (Ind.) University most
likely. The Cougars are right in the mix for
the No. 3 seed in the double elimination
MVNU will return to action on
Thursday at 2 p.m. when the Cougars will
host Grace (Ind.) College in the final
regular-season home games. In between games
of that MCC doubleheader, MVNU will honor
the seniors on this year's team.