Senior Adam Guay struck out a career-high 11 batters as Urbana University baseball went out in style with a 13-4 win over Notre Dame College in the season finale on Monday. UU fell in the first game of the league doubleheader 11-2 at Blue Knight Field, as the two teams split the four-game series.
UU finishes the season with an overall ledger of 17-30 and 11-19 against MEC opponents in the first campaign under head coach Jake Oester. The Notre Dame College Falcons close out the year at 18-31 (13-19 MEC).
The Falcons plated seven runs in the fourth, providing plenty of backing for starter Tyler Gault in the seven-inning contest. Gault (6-3) kept the Blue Knights off balance in the complete-game effort while giving up a pair of runs on seven hits.
UU scored its first run in the fifth on a Kaleb Foltz chopper up the middle. Foltz (1-3, RBI) made his first start at second base in his final game.
Daniel Quiroz (2-3, RBI) produced the second Blue Knight run with a single down the right-field line in the sixth to make it 7-2. Isac Franklin (2 for 4) also delivered a two-hit performance at the dish.
Then, the visitors tacked on four more in the final inning to put the game out of reach. NDC outhit the Blue Knights 13-7.
UU starter Patrick Orr looked sharp early on. The junior right-hander did not allow a hit through three innings, but the wheels fell off in the fourth. With two outs and down 2-0, Orr ( 1-6) surrendered three hits and three walks that led to five more Falcon runs to come across.
The Blue Knights committed four errors in the field.
Guay went the distance for the fourth time in nine starts, fanning a career-high 11 in nine innings while giving up three earned runs on six hits. The right-hander capped his final season on the mound for UU with an overall record of 7-1 – the most wins by a Blue Knight in the NCAA Division II era, while going undefeated in conference games at 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA. He got stronger as the season wore on, tossing seven or more frames in his final six outings.
After holding a 3-1 lead, the Blue Knights put the game out of reach with five runs in back-to-back innings for a 13-1 lead after five. The Falcons tacked on two in the sixth and one in the eighth.
Also playing in their final contest, seniors Nick Gallagher (4-5, 2 RBI), John Hale (3-4, 3B, RBI), and Brent West (2-5, 2B, 3 RBI) led the way at the plate as UU racked up 16 hits in the victory. Bradley Burkholder had a great showing at the plate as well, registering three hits with a pair knocked in.
Franklin ignited the scoring barrage with a bases-loaded single in the fourth, then West followed that up with a bases-clearing double to the fence in left center. Gallagher produced the fifth run on a single to center in the next at-bat.
In the fifth, UU kept it rolling with a run on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly from Zeth Tanner to make it 10-1. Burkholder, West, and Gallagher then delivered three consecutive RBI base knocks.
Guay retired the side in the ninth, adding an exclamation point to his career with two strikeouts swinging.
The Blue Knights finished the season in fourth place in the MEC North Division.