SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. – The Urbana University baseball team (6-24, 6-10 MEC) was back at it on Friday afternoon facing the Shepherd University Rams (17-11, 12-4 MEC).
UU fell 17-4 in the first matchup and 9-2 in the second game. It was a tough day for UU defensively, as it posted a combined total of seven walks and five errors while the division-leading Rams connected on seven home runs.
Freshman Tyler Bess took the hill for UU in game three of the series, making his sixth start as a Blue Knight.
The Rams jumped on the board with a four-run first inning, but UU came right back with a two-run push after seniors Mickey Barea and Zeth Tanner got on with back-to-back singles. Connor Coy knocked in UU’s first run of the game followed by a sacrifice fly from fellow senior Tanner Davis.
Then, things started to get away from the Blue Knights.
After shutting down the Rams in the bottom of the second inning, UU failed to score and gave up eight runs in the bottom of the third. A big, two-out RBI double brought in the fifth run for the Rams and then things fell apart for UU. An error made on an infield pop-up allowed the Rams to score seven more runs in the frame making it 12-2 and ending Bess’ day.
UU ended up scoring one more run in the fourth and the seventh but that was all the Blue Knights could muster.
UU ended the game with four runs on six hits. Tanner hit his MEC-leading eighth home run while also putting himself in sole possession of the single-season home run record at UU during the D2 Era.
Patrick Orr took the bump for the Blue Knights in game four and series finale. The Rams’ bats remained hot as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead following a home run by Chase Hoffman.
UU promptly responded in the top of the second inning when sophomore Daniel Quiroz came up with a clutch two-out single to right field making it a 3-1 ballgame.
Unfortunately, things started to fall apart in the bottom of the fourth inning for UU after a bases-loaded walk brought in another run for the Rams. SU continued to score with two more runs in the frame as well as three more in the sixth.
UU scored its second and final run in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI delivered by Mickey Losey.
Cody Fullenkamp had his second start of the season behind the plate and threw out a Shepherd baserunner attempting to steal second base in the third. It was only the second time SU had been caught stealing on 63 attempts.
Tanner, Quiroz, Brad Burkholder and Austin Pratt had the lone base knocks for UU.
UU returns to league action next week against West Liberty University. The Blue Knights are slated to host the Hilltoppers on Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15 at Blue Knight Field.
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