Big Innings Doom Mustangs In Twinbill Sweep Against Messiah

Big Innings Doom Mustangs In Twinbill Sweep Against Messiah

OWINGS MILLS, Md. –  The Stevenson baseball team had the tables turned on them on Saturday afternoon just a day after putting up 19 runs and pounding out 14 hits it was the visiting Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth opponent Messiah College racking up big numbers as they totaled 26 runs and 27 hits to sweep the Mustangs in the doubleheader by scores of 11-3 and 15-8.  The Green and White did manage to take one game of the series with a 19-10 win on Friday afternoon in Grantham.

Stevenson (15-14, 6-8 MAC Commonwealth) was paced in game one by junior Matthew Kerber who went 2-4 with a double and run scored.  Senior John D'Aquanno added two RBIs on a hit as well as drawing a walk.  Classmate Jake Dimon chipped in the other run batted in on a hit.  Sophomore designated-hitter Mark Terrell had a knock and scored once.  Four other Mustangs finished with a hit.   

After Messiah (7-14, 4-9 MAC Commonwealth) went three up-three down against Stevenson junior starter James Wiercinski the home side went to work in their half of the first.  Kerber opened things up with a double down the right-field line and went to third when the following batter sophomore Kevin Murray Jr. reached on a bunt single putting two on with no one out.  That brought D'Aquanno to the dish and he knocked home Kerber with a sacrifice fly.  Senior Billy Small and Terrell both went down on strikes against Falcons pitcher Quinton Kuntz to end the frame 1-0. 

The game remained that way until the fourth when each side would put one on the board.  In the top of the inning, Colin Fry led off with a double and went to third on a groundout by Josh Hayner.  The next hitter Billy Davis drew a walk setting up two on with one gone for Hunter Brindle.  He bounced out to shortstop for the second out, but it was enough to have Fry score knotting the game.  The last of the frame saw the Green and White deliver with two down as Terrell singled and went to second on a fielding error by the left-fielder.  Dimon was up next and he picked up a knock to center to drive in Terrell giving the hosts the lead.  Sophomore Alex Kidwiler popped out to right to end the fourth.  The next inning both squads struck again as with one out Austin Mellinger laid down a sacrifice bunt to push the runner Adam Janney to third.  He was able to score on the same play thanks to a throwing error by Small at first.  With the score 2-2 going to the bottom of the frame the home side retook the lead on an RBI single by D'Aquanno that went through the left side of the infield to score junior Anthony Millington who reach on a single.  Small and Terrell were then both set down by Kuntz to retire the side at 3-2. 

The Falcons, unfortunately, would take the game over in the sixth and seventh as they scored nine times between the two frames.  In inning number six with the bases loaded Brindled plated Fry with a single to right.  The following batter was Dan Wiederrecht who cleared the bases with a grand slam to deep left-center.  Then in the seventh, Hayner drove home Trent Culver with a double to left-center.  That signaled the end of the day for Wiercinski as he was replaced by sophomore C.J. Kilpatrick.  With two men on and two out Wiederrecht stepped up again and for the second inning in a row, he cleaned the deck with a three-run shot to left making it 11-3.  In the two innings, the Mustangs got a runner to third once and second one time, but were not able to drive them in which ended the game. 

Stevenson starter Wiercinski (3-3) went 6.1 giving up nine runs (eight earned) on ten hits with two strikeouts.

In game number two, the Mustangs (15-15, 6-9 MAC Commonwealth) were led by Kerber and Small who both were 2-4 with a double and two runs scored.  Small also added two runs batted in on a home run, while Kerber chipped in a triple as well.  Four other Mustangs added had hits and each one of them scored a run. 

The first inning saw each team strike three times.  In the Messiah (8-14, 4-9 MAC Commonwealth) half with runners at second and third with one out, Hayner grounded out to short which scored Culver giving the guest the early lead against senior starter Michael Remeikis.  After Brindle was hit by the pitch the next man was Trey Pritchard and he upped the advantage with a two-bagger to right scoring both runners.  The home side came galloping back as Kerber opened the frame with a triple deep down the left-field line.  Murray followed that knock with an RBI single of his own getting the home side on the board.  Then with one man out Small smashed a two-run homer over the right-field fence his sixth of the season tying things at 3-3 after one.  Messiah added one in the second on a solo shot from Mellinger.  Visiting starter Jordan Nichols allowed a base runner in the inning but did not allow him to score.

In the third, the Falcons broke things open sending 14 men to the plate scoring nine times getting big hits from Fry who homered to lead off.  Wiederrecht and Fry both delivered two-run singles while Brindle added a two-run double making it 13-3 at the of two-and-a-half.  Messiah kept up the pressure scoring solo runs in innings four and five on an RBI single from Mellinger and a sacrifice fly by Wiederrecht made it 15-3.  Both of those frames saw the Mustangs get turned away in order against Nichols. 

The game remained that way until the last of the sixth when Stevenson found their way back onto the scoreboard.  After Kerber led off with a double he was then drove in on a single by D'Aquanno.  Small then stepped up and ripped a ground-rule double that hopped over the fence in right putting men at second and third.  Senior Michael Kelly was issued a walk to load the bags for classmate Michael Rhodes He singled to center to score keep the bases full.  Junior Jordan Moore drove one home with a walk before junior Connor Wasilnak plated a pair with a knock to left.  Kerber hit a soft liner to second to retire the side with the score 15-8.  Messiah was denied any scoring opportunity in the seventh against senior Eric Prachniak.  In the bottom of the inning, the Mustangs had them at the corners with two out but a groundout by junior pinch-hitter Tim Hogan ended the game.

Stevenson used five pitchers in the game with the starter Remeikis (3-2) taking the loss giving up eight on six hits.  Out of the bullpen junior Mike Elia and Prachniak each hurled a scoreless inning combining for no hits and two strikeouts.        

The Mustangs will be back in action on Wednesday, April, 18 when they host The Catholic University of America in non-conference play at Sugar Field.  First pitch of game one against the Cardinals is set for 3:30pm.