Panthers Back on Top of GMAC South After Sunday Sweep

Panthers Back on Top of GMAC South After Sunday Sweep

Painesville, OH (WFIE) - The Kentucky Wesleyan College baseball team earned two crucial wins over Lake Erie College on Sunday to move into first place of the South Division of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.  The Panthers moved back over .500 with a pair of 8-4 wins over the conference newcomer Storm.

Game 1: KWC 8 – Lake Erie 4
The Panthers pounced early in the top of the first with a three run home run from Joseph Burke, his 13th of the season.  In the top of the second Wesleyan tacked on one more run after Ben Wilcoxson executed a sacrifice bunt with two on and nobody out.

Lake Erie strung together three straight singles in the bottom of the third to score their first run.  Sammy Holder worked three scoreless innings including three up and three down in the third and fourth frames.  The senior struck out one over the three innings including one pick off when the Storm threatened with a runner in scoring position with one out.

Cody Bridges led off the top of fifth with a single to the shortstop.  After stealing second, Burke drove in Bridges with a double to right centerfield.  Burke utilized a pair of wild pitches to score, putting the Panthers ahead 6-1.

Wesleyan tallied two more runs in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to seven runs.  With two on and one out, Lane Kennemore singled through the right side, bringing home Chris Johnson and Ben Wilcoxson.  The Storm responded with two runs off of three hits in the bottom of the sixth.  Lake Erie rallied with a two out double in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-3 but the Panthers held on for the win.

Holder went 6.0 innings in his fourth win of the season, striking out three and allowing three runs off of seven hits.  In 3.0 innings of relief, Cam Curry struck out two while giving up one run off of four hits.  Neither pitcher allowed a walk in game one.

The Panther offense pounded out 12 hits in game one with Johnson and Wilcoxson both going two-for-three at the plate.  Burke and Jake Burke both tallied two hits while Kennemore, Bridges, Andrew Kirkland and Ostin Clark recorded one a piece.  Burke drove in four of the Panthers run while scoring two himself.

Game 2: KWC 8 – Lake Erie 4 (7 innings)
Heads up base running by Bridges allowed the Panthers to score their first run in the first inning of game two.  The junior drew a walk then advanced to second after tagging up on a fly out in foul territory.  A passed ball and a wild pitch allowed Bridges to score.

The Storm tied it up in the bottom of the first with a solo home run.  A pitchers duel developed as the two teams combined for five hits over the next five innings.

Wesleyan plated one run in the top of the third after Levi Tanner led off with a bunt single.  With two on and nobody out, Kennemore laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Tanner to third.  Bridges grounded out to the shortstop but was able to bring home Tanner to put the Panthers ahead 2-1.

In the top of the seventh the Panthers utilized three Storm errors and four hits to break open the game and take an 8-1 lead.  With two outs, Ethan Maxey, Carter and Tanner had back-to-back-t0-back singles to plate three runs for Wesleyan.

Lake Erie plated three runs off of four hits in the bottom of the seventh but the Panthers were able to hold on to sweep the G-MAC doubleheader.

Chris Johnson picked up his third win of the season, striking out six while allowing one run off of three hits in 6.0 innings.  Alex Franzen threw the final 1.0 inning, allowing three runs off of four hits.

Tanner and Carter both went two-for-four in game two while Kennemore, Clark and Maxey all tallied one hit.  Bridges led the Panthers with two runs driven in and two runs scored.

The Panthers hit the road again next weekend travelling to Elkins, W. Va. to take on the Senators of Davis & Elkins College.  First pitch is set for 11 am CT for Friday's doubleheader followed by a single game on Saturday at 11 am CT.

Courtesy:  KWC Sports Information Dept.  Copyright 2018, WFIE, All rights reserved.