Beckley, WV – The University of Findlay baseball team traveled five and a half hours to the hills of West Virginia to take on Malone University in a non-conference double-header. The games, played on Friday, March 18, ended in a split with each team winning the game in which they were the home team.
Findlay got off the bus in Beckley and looked to have brought hot bats with them as they got on the board in the top of the first inning when freshman Derrick Herd singled and later scored on a hit from senior Jordan Garcia, but that was the only offense the Oilers would muster.
Malone answered with two in the bottom of the first and totaled nine un-answered runs to take the first game by a 9-1 final.
The Pioneers came into the game as one of the best hitting teams in the conference, starting play today with a .335 average as a team. They finished the game with a 15-hit onslaught.
Sophomore Colin Gossard (0-2) took the loss on the hill. He pitched four and two-thirds and allowed eight runs, six earned, on ten hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Malone got a great outing from Tyler Whitlatch who pitched a complete game and struck out 11.
The second contest began well for the Oilers again as they scored in the second and third innings.
After the first two hitters of the second inning were retired, sophomore Cameron Johnson hit a ground ball back to the pitcher who then threw the ball into right field. Johnson reached second and then scored on a single from sophomore Troy Merriman giving Findlay a 1-0 lead.
Herd and junior Peter Yorgen led off the third with back-to-back singles and advanced on a fielder's choice from freshman Mark Delas. With two outs, sophomore Christion Smith roped a ball to left-center field and scored two runners.
A single run in the sixth inning put the game out of reach as Findlay earned the split with a 4-0 victory.
Junior Austin Rodesky put together another stellar start as he went the distance and allowed seven hits, the most against Rodesky this season, but did not allow a run. He struck out eight and walked three.
Yorgen was 2-for-3 in the game while Smith was 1-for-2 with a run scored and a pair of RBI.
The third game between Malone and Findlay will be played tomorrow morning, Saturday, March 19 at 10:00am.