Early scoring led to a 9-4 victory for Urbana University baseball in the first game of Saturday’s home twinbill against West Virginia State. The tables turned in the second contest at Blue Knight Field as the Yellow Jackets used an early advantage to move past UU, 10-2.
With the doubleheader split, UU moves to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in league play while West Virginia State picks up its first conference win to improve to 8-11 overall (1-5 MEC).
After the Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Blue Knights responded with eight runs in the bottom of the first. Connor Coy tied the score at 2-2 on an RBI double and then Mickey Barea followed that up with an RBI single for the go-ahead run. Then, Bradley Burkholder, Isac Franklin and Daniel Quiroz produced three consecutive RBI base knocks, including a double by Franklin to push the Knights ahead 8-2.
That was more than enough support for UU starter Jackson Everman, who improved to 2-0 in two starts this season and picked up his 12th career win – a record for career victories by a Blue Knight during the school’s Division II era. Everman went six innings and allowed one earned run on five hits. The right hander boasts an earned-run average of 0.56 in three appearances.
Barea (3 for 3) and Coy (3 for 4) led the way at the plate with three hits each, while Damario Brown provided some insurance with a his first home run of the season, a leadoff blast in the sixth. Franklin registered a multi-hit performance with two hits.
The Blue Knights outhit the visitors 12-6 and left eight runners on base.
This time the Blue Knights fell victim to an early deficit as WVSU raced out to a 7-0 lead after three innings. UU added a run in the fourth and the sixth, but was limited by a stellar mound performance by WVSU starter Tyrel Panter. The right hander tossed eight innings and scattered six hits with three strikeouts.
Right fielder Nick Gallagher extended his reached-base streak to 15 games after leading UU with two hits at the plate. Gallagher’s triple in the sixth brought across the second UU run, but the senior was cut down at the plate while trying to score on a dropped cut-off throw.
UU starter Dalton Greenwalt was tagged with his third loss on the hill after four-and-a-third innings of work.
WVSU outhit the Blue Knights 14-6 which included four doubles and a home run. UU also struggled a bit in the field with three defensive miscues in both games.
UU travels to Findlay for a non-conference midweek game on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Blue Knights continue MEC play Friday at home against Glenville State.