LEE SPORTS INFORMATION
What a difference a day makes. In Tuesday’s two-game series opener against visiting Bellarmine University, the skies were clear and the temperature was in the 60s. Wednesday found the afternoon …
The same could be said for the action on the baseball diamond at Olympic Field. Lee enjoyed an easy 20-2 win in Tuesday’s contest, but had to battle until the bottom of the ninth inning before pulling out a come-from-behind 6-5 victory on Wednesday.
The Flames found themselves down 5-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back dingers by Peyton Meeker — his first and second of the season — and Spencer Mossburg (third) quickly tied the score at five. It was also Mossburg’s second homer in the series.
The rally set the stage for the exciting ninth inning. Tyler Payne led off the frame with an infield hit and took second when Miguel Pimentel was hit by a pitch for the second time. Chase Gadau became an instant hero and received a cold shower by his teammates after delivering a single to left field that plated Payne with the winner.
“What a great comeback,” exclaimed Lee head coach Mark Brew, after his club posted its third-straight victory and improved to 9-11 overall. “We didn’t have much momentum early, but we kept chipping away late until Gadau got the walk-off hit. Meeker and Mossburg’s two-out home runs were huge.
“Once again we had another solid defensive effort and our bullpen gave us some quality innings led by David Pattinson’s two quality innings.”
Rob Gustitus started and worked two innings for the Flames. He allowed five hits and two earned runs. Jay Prior came on for an inning and fanned a pair. Andrew Franklin was the next of seven hurlers to take the mound. In one inning, he gave up two hits and one earned run. Pattison turned in his sparkling effort, followed by 2/3 innings by Joe Parete, who allowed two earned runs. John Reese Gilmer was solid for 1 1/3 frames and Logan Workman came on to pick up his first pitching win of the year by allowing just one hit in the ninth.
The Knights jumped on top in the first inning on a solo home run by Alex Ralph. Lee struck back for a single run in the bottom of the inning without the benefit of a hit. Payne and Jordan Howard walked, while Pimentel reached after being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Gadau picked up the first of his two RBIs with a sacrifice fly.
Bellarmine took the lead in the third and added another run in the fourth to increase the margin to 3-1. Lee fought back in the sixth when Howard singled (the Flames first hit of the day) and raced to third on a two-base error. He scored on a sac fly by Pimentel to reduce the upper-hand 3-2.
A two-RBI single by the Knights’ Griffin Neuer in the top of the seventh saw the lead grow to 5-2. In the bottom of the same inning, Mossburg collected a one-base hit and tallied on a double by Chase Andrews, cutting the lead to 5-3 and putting the Flames within striking distance.
The Knights got three hits and two RBIs from Ralph, while Neuer also posted a pair of hits and two runs batted in. Josh Finety joined the 10-hit afternoon for the visitors with a pair of knocks. Pitcher Kyle Beach held the Flames’ bats in-check for most of the day. In 6 1/3 innings, he surrendered four hits and three earned runs. Neuer came on to pitch in the bottom of the ninth and was charged with the loss.
“We have a huge series at Mississippi College,” noted Brew. “It’s the first time all year we have had the momentum of a three-game winning streak and I am excited to see how we play.” The three-game GSC series has been moved up to Friday (two games) and Saturday because of rain predicted for the Jackson, Mississippi, area.
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