Five-run seventh lifts Tennessee Wesleyan over Baseball Hawks
By Ben Stell and Matt Green
ATHENS, Tenn. – Tennessee Wesleyan put together a five-run seventh inning to swing momentum in its favor and score an 8-5 victory over Shorter University on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference baseball action from Athens, Tenn.
With the loss, Shorter drops to 4-3 on the season while Tennessee Wesleyan improves to 2-3.
Trailing the Hawks 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, Tennessee Wesleyan scored five runs – all with two outs – to spell Shorter's demise.
With Jordan Guida on second with two away, Tennessee Wesleyan's Tanner Quirk and Thomas Sicking hit back-to-back singles to cut Shorter's lead to 5-4. Anthony Biox followed with an RBI single that scored Quirk and tied the game at 5-5.
Shorter's Mike Miranda then misplayed Stephen Branca's grounder, allowing the go ahead run to score. Taylor Oldham dealt the final blow two batters later with a 2-run single to make it 8-5 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Tennessee Wesleyan's bullpen shut the door in the eighth and ninth inning to seal the win. Corey Collins picked up the win in relief for the Bulldogs while Shorter's tough luck starter Matt Kirksey suffered the loss after going 6.2 innings and allowing just three earned runs. Four errors behind Kirksey were the difference.
Things looked good early for the Hawks, who were riding a two-game winning streak entering Wednesday's game.
An error in the outfield on a routine base hit from Branca led to Tennessee Wesleyan's second run of the game and brought the Bulldogs to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third, but Shorter's Cal Hardie scored on heads up base running off a routing groundout to the pitcher's mound in the fourth to go up 4-2 and Smith's RBI base hit in the sixth put Shorter ahead 5-3.
Smith paced Shorter offensively going 2-for-3 with his RBI. Kirksey struck out three and walked none in his first start of the year.
Shorter returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 as it hosts a doubleheader against Albany State beginning at 12 pm. Saturday is Shorter's 4th Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer event.