SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. – A pitchers’ duel broke out Thursday as Urbana University baseball split a conference doubleheader at Shepherd. The Blue Knights edged the division-leading Rams 2-0 in 11 innings to kick off the four-game series, while SU responded with a 12-5 triumph in the second matchup.
UU, which split its fourth straight MEC twinbill, moved to 6-22 overall and 6-8 in league play. The host Rams now sit 15-11 (10-4 MEC). The two teams will wrap the series on Friday with another doubleheader in Shepherdstown.
Vitor Takakura pitched his best game as a Blue Knight, throwing seven shutout innings against the league’s top offense. The senior gave UU a chance to win, fanning six and allowing a career-low two hits.
After 10 innings of scoreless play, senior catcher Zeth Tanner blasted a two-run shot in the top of the 11th inning to give UU the lead which eventually became the deciding factor. Tanner was tied atop the league rankings with six long balls entering the contest. He homered in back-to-back games for the first time of his career.
Sophomore Robbie Guerrero III came on to finish the game, throwing four shutout frames to get his second win of the season.
In the seventh, Takakura escaped trouble by getting out of a first-and-third situation with one out. Then, Guerrero also got out of a high-leverage situation with the winning run on third and two outs in the eighth.
UU out-hit the Rams, despite SU starter Ryan Potts racking up 14 strikeouts in 10 innings of work. Junior right fielder Mickey Losey led the UU offense going 3 for 5 at the plate along with senior second baseman Mickey Barea going 2 for 5 at the dish.
Senior Steven Beall took the hill for UU in game two. The game started strong but a rough third inning proved too much for the Blue Knights to overcome. Three Blue Knight errors opened the door for two homers and six runs for the Rams.
UU got on the board in the top of the fourth inning by scoring two runs off RBI knocks from Guerrero and Barea.
The Rams added two more runs in the fifth as well as four more in the sixth. The comeback attempt fell short in the seventh after UU tacked on three runs.
Barea and Guerrero both ended the game with a pair of runs knocked in, while Tanner continued to lead the way at the plate. He went a combined 4 for 8 (.500) with three RBI, one home run and one double.