DAYTON — The Lee University baseball team fell behind early and was unable to overcome 13 runners left on base in a 6-5 loss at Bryan College Wednesday evening.
“We had some moments offensively where it looked like we would get on track, but we couldn’t get a big hit,” said Lee head coach Mark Brew. “Leaving 13 runners on base tells you we had plenty of chances.”
The Flames (19-8) were able to place the first two batters of the seventh and eighth innings on base, but came away with just one run. Lee left two runners on in the seventh, the bases loaded in the eighth and another two runners in scoring position in the ninth.
Bryan (17-12) grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Following a lead-off single and two walks, Justin Morhardt hit his eighth home run of the season. The Lions tacked on another run in the second and the eventual game-winner in the third inning.
Ryan Zimmer pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief. He gave up five hits, two runs, walked one and struck out one. Carlos Ditren was tagged for one hit and fanned four in 2 1/3 innings. Grayson Bailey struck out both batters he faced in the eighth.
“Giving up the grand slam in the first didn’t set a good tone for the day,” admitted Brew. “Zimmer, Ditren and Bailey did a good job in relief allowing us to try and climb back into the game.”
Lee tallied two runs in the third inning, two more in the fifth inning and a single run in the eighth.
Siosi Poti delivered two of Lee’s nine hits. Zacary Hawkins drilled a two-run home run and Josh Silver had an RBI double. Nathan Wierzgac collected Lee’s final extra-base hit with a double.
Derrick Pitts had an RBI single while Andres Nelo, Blake Ray and Seth Gower also delivered singles in the loss.
CJ Lusted (1-2) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs, four hits and two walks in 1/3 of an inning.
Jared Breazeale earned his first win of the season. Breazeale gave up four runs, seven hits, walked two and struck out two in five innings. Kenny Knudsen gave up one hit and struck out three to record his fifth save of the season.
Bryan’s offense received two hits each from Cody Rhinehart, Tyler Latham, Grant Zawadzki and Preston King. Latham and King each legged out a double.
“We have little time to sulk,” added Brew. “We have a big series at Shorter this weekend and need to have a good two days of practice.”
Lee and Shorter will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a single nine-inning game on Sunday at 2 p.m.