Blue Jays End Season In SLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal Loss

Picture by Caleb Maassen.
Picture by Caleb Maassen.

Greenville, IL, 5/11/2022 – The Westminster College baseball team travelled to Greenville, Illinois to start the SLIAC Tournament.  The fifth seeded Blue Jays would take on the fourth seeded Greenville University Panthers in an elimination game for a spot in the double elimination SLIAC Final Four this coming weekend.  The game started with the Blue Jays battering the Panther starter enroute to a 10-0 lead after the top of the third.  The Panthers would then plate ten runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning alone to tie the game 10-10.  The Panthers would tack on six more runs to take a 16-10 lead before the Blue Jays would mount a comeback that saw the tying run step to the plate in the ninth inning before a ground out to second base would end the game 16-14 in favor of the Panthers, ending the Blue Jays season.

The Blue Jays would get the bats going in the top of the second inning.  Senior catcher Derek Shikles (New Bloomfield, MO / New Bloomfield) would lead off the inning with a single to left field.  Quin Adelson (Louisville, KY / North Oldham) would follow that with a double down the left field line moving Shikles to third base.  Hayden Hirschvogel (Jefferson City, MO / Jefferson City) would clear the bases with a three-run homerun to over the left field wall to stake the Jays to an early 3-0 lead.  Spencer Keiser (Old Monroe, MO / Winfield) would follow with a homerun of his own, a solo shot to center field to make it 4-0.  The Blue Jays were back at it in the top of the third inning when Steven Diaz (Highland, IL / Highland) led off the inning with a double to right center.  Shikles then reached first when he was hit by a pitch.  Diaz and Shikles both moved up on a wild pitch and then Diaz would come home to score on an Adelson RBI single. Adelson would advance to second on a ground out.  Keiser would single to right center to drive home Shikles to make it 6-0 Jays.  Coltin Green (St. Anthony, Mo. / St. Elizabeth) would then hit an RBI single to drive in Adelson to make it 7-0.  Matt Lukins (Clark, MO / Rock Bridge) would then step to the plate and belt a three-run home run to make the score 10-0 in favor of the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays entered the bottom of the third inning with a comfortable lead, perhaps too comfortable, disaster would fall the Blue Jays as the Panthers would score ten runs in the bottom of the third on just five hits.  The Blue Jays committed two errors in the inning and the Panthers were helped by three walks and three batters hit by pitches in the inning.  The Panthers would add two runs in the bottom of the fourth and four more in the bottom of the fifth inning to open up a 16-10 lead on the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays would find their footing in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Diaz would double to left field.  That brought Shikles to the plate and he would deliver a two-run home run to left center off the Panther scoreboard to cut the Greenville lead to 16-12.  The Jays would get another run back n the top of the seventh inning when Keiser would hit his second solo homerun of the game to make the score 16-13.   

Everything would come down to the top of the ninth for the Blue Jays who entered the inning trailing by three runs. Adelson would lead off the inning by drawing a walk.  After a pop out to second, Keiser would single to right center sending Adelson to third base.  That would bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Coltin Green.  Green flied out to center field and Adelson would tag and score from third to make it 16-14.  Matt Lukins would step to the plate with two outs and representing the tying run.  Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, Lukins would ground out to second to end the Blue Jay comeback attempt and bring their season to an end.  The Blue Jays finished the season 11-23 overall and 9-11 in SLIAC play.