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KWU Baseball Splits with St. Mary

KSAL Sports - April 18, 2014 7:31 am

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. – Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Mary split the series opening doubleheader between the teams on Thursday afternoon at Rathert Stadium in Junction City. Wesleyan won the first game 5-2, while Saint Mary held on for a 4-2 win in the nightcap.

The games were originally scheduled to be played in Salina, but scheduling conflicts at both Dean Evans Stadium and Matson Field forced the Coyotes to find a new venue for the games, and Junction City’s Historic Rathert Stadium fit the bill.

In the opener, Alex Pollard (SR/Victorville, Calif.) led off the Coyote half of the second inning with a homer to left field to put the Coyotes ahead 1-0. Saint Mary answered back with a run in the top of the third inning befor the Coyotes scored twice in the third to take the lead for good.

Kyle Buchanan (JR/Placerville, Calif.) drove home Jeremy Rosenthal (JR/Reno, Nev.) on a sac fly in the third after Rosenthal led off the inning with a double and later in the inning Thomas Conaway (SR/Richmond, Kan.) had a RBI single to out the Coyotes up 3-1. Wesleyan added a run in the fourth when Jordan Rousselle (SO/Aurora, Colo.) scored on a wild pitch and the Coyotes added one more in the sixth when Jake Fox (SR/Eads, Colo.) scored thanks to a stolen base and two errors on the same play.

Things got a little interesting in the top of the seventh, but starter Michael Ebersole (JR/Tempe, Ariz.) would hold the Spires to just one run and after loading the bases. Ebersole would strike out Jackson Perri looking to end the game.

Rousselle, Rosenthal and Pollard all had two hits each for the Coyotes to lead the offense, while Ebersole went the distance on the hill for the win allowing two runs on nine hits with a walk and a strikeout, only needing 84 pitches to complete the game.

Saint Mary scored a run in the second and broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fifth before holding off a Coyote rally in the seventh as the Spires would hold on for a 4-2 win in the second game.

After Saint Mary took the early lead in the second, Wesleyan tied things up in the bottom of the fourth. Buchanan had a one-out double down the line in left and moved to third on a wild pitch before Pollard would reach on catcher’s interference. Drew Cratsenberg (SO/Federal Way, Wash.) then put down a bunt for a squeeze play but Saint Mary would record the out at home, but Thomas Conaway came through with a RBI single to tie things up. Wesleyan had a chance to do more damage in the inning, but left the bases loaded.

A bases loaded hit by pitch in the Saint Mary half of the fifth gave the Spires the lead back at 2-1 and Joey Stauss’ 2-run single would put the Spires ahead 4-1.

Wesleyan put on the rally caps in the seventh inning, but came up just short. Pinch hitter Dalton Eastep (JR/Salina, Kan.) started things off with a single to left. Two batters later Rosenthal doubled and Omar Sadaoui (SR/Littleton, Colo.) followed with a RBI single back up the middle. However, the Coyotes couldn’t get another run across as Wesleyan stranded the game-tying run second base.

Five different Coyotes had hits in the game while Sadaoui and Conaway drove in Wesleyan’s two runs. Blake Pontius (SO/Maize, Kan.) took the loss for the Coyotes, pitching four and two-thirds allowing four runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. David Herrera (JR/Turlock, Calif.) finished the game, going two and a third, allowing three hits and had three strikeouts.

Wesleyan and Saint Mary will complete the season series on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Leavenworth. The Coyotes return home on Tuesday to complete the March 18 suspended game against Manhattan Christian at 3 p.m. at Dean Evans Stadium, followed by a nine-inning contest between the teams. The Coyotes wrap up the regular season next weekend with a series against Friends. The teams play in Wichita next Friday and wrap things up on next Saturday at home against the Falcons.