For the second time in less than 24 hours, Urbana University split a pair of games against Wheeling Jesuit at UU Baseball Field. The Blue Knights took the opener 5-1 before falling 11-3 in the second contest.
The two teams entered the series finale tied for third in the MEC North standings, and with the win, Wheeling holds a one-game edge over UU. The Cards improved to 15-25 and 14-14 against MEC opponents while the Blue Knights moved to 19-25 overall and 13-15 in league play.
UU starter Jackson Everman silenced the WJU hitters and picked up his fourth win of the year. The right hander relied on the defense and scattered five hits in the complete-game effort, allowing just one run with no walks and one strikeout.
After sitting out a week earlier in April, Everman has come back strong with 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings and lowered his earned-run average to a team-low 3.31.
The Blue Knights grabbed the lead with four runs in the third against WJU starter Jon San Felippo. With one away, second baseman Damario Brown (1-for-3) began a chain of four straight UU hits with a single up the middle. Catcher Brent West, who went 3-for-3, followed with a base knock and then Enmanuel Lopez (1-for-2) drove in the first run on a single to right. It was the 20th consecutive game Lopez reached safely before having the streak snapped in the second game.
Shortstop DJ Collins (2-for-3) kept it going with an RBI double to the gap in left center to make it 2-0. Collins also singled in Game 2, which extended his reached-base streak to a spectacular 46 straight games.
UU picked up two more runs later in the inning off of Nick Gallagher’s (1-for-3) triple down the right-field line to go up 4-0. The junior started both games at first base with West shifting over behind the plate. West would later score in the fifth frame to give UU an insurance run.
The Cardinals recorded their lone run in the fourth on a double to right field. UU had one error in the game and outhit WJU 8-5.
The Blue and Grey suffered an early blow after starter Mitchell Lawson allowed four earned runs in the first. UU then struggled to figure out WJU starter Ben Standiford, who shut out the Blue Knights in the first six innings.
UU scored three times in its final at-bat, but the Cardinals had already built an insurmountable 11-0 advantage in the soggy conditions.
Lawson (1-5) was tagged with the loss as UU rifled through its bullpen. Brad Hall (1.0 IP), Adam Ramirez (3.0 IP) and Colt Woolever (1.0) all saw action on the mound.
Outfielders Tim Feasel and Bradley Burkholder each collected a pair of hits, while Feasel produced an RBI single in the seventh. Tanner Davis stepped up after Feasel as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and lined a two-out double to the wall in left center for two more runs. Connor Coy also registered a single as a pinch hitter to start the final inning.
WJU outslugged UU 13-8 in the second contest.
UU will host Senior Day on Friday as it welcomes Notre Dame College to UU Baseball Field. The home doubleheader finale will get underway at 1 p.m. against the second-place Falcons.