O'Fallon, MO 5/12/2023- The Westminster College baseball team was back in action Friday night after defeating Eureka College earlier in the day to take on Spalding University in a rematch of Thursday night's game with the winner advancing to the conference championship game against Webster University.
The Blue Jay bats were hot early with Steven Diaz (Highland, Il. / Highland), who hit for the cycle in game one, staying locked in and hitting a lead-off double to start the game. Troy Romero (Trophy Club, TX / Byron Nelson) would get the ball in play and reach on an error by the Spalding pitcher to put runners on first and second with no outs. The Blue Jays would hit into a double play, but Diaz would move up to third on the play. Diaz would later score on a wild pitch to put the Jays up 1-0 in the early going. With two outs, Skyler Bushey (Saint Albans, Vt / Bellows Free Academy) launched his 17th home run of the season over the left field fence to put Westminster up 2-0, refusing to have a repeat of the game on Thursday.
Senior pitcher Jake Waeltermann (Barnhart, MO / Seckman) got the call in this due-or-die game for the Blue Jays. He would pitch four and one-third innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He would strike out one and walk five batters. He would also hit two. Waeltermann would get himself in trouble with the walks and hit batters, but the veteran would do a great job of limiting damage producing three double plays to get out of the second, third, and fourth with the Golden Eagles threatening to blow the game wide open multiple times.
Spalding would score in the bottom of the second, two in the bottom of the fifth, and one in the sixth and seventh to take a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning, the Blue Jays down to their final six outs. Kaden Eirhart (Altamont, IL / Altamont), Brian Henke (Silex, Mo/ Silex), Hayden Sanborn (Arnold, MO / St. John Vianney), and Kaleb Hinkle-Pruett (Alton, IL / Roxana) would come in out of the bullpen and combine for three and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Sanborn would strike out one batter.
In the top of the eighth, Quin Adelson (Louisville, KY / North Oldham), and Coltin Green (St. Anthony, Mo. / St. Elizabeth) would hit back-to-back home runs to left field to give the Jays' life, putting them down one run, 5-4 with no outs in the inning. Unfortunately, they would be unable to bring in the tying run to keep their season alive. The Golden Eagles would hold on to win the game 5-4 and advance to the SLIAC baseball championship game.
We would like to congratulate the Blue Jays on a great and historic season as they finish with a record of 25-19, the most wins in a season since 2016. And we would like to congratulate the Blue Jay seniors on their great careers and for everything they have done for Westminster College and Blue Jay baseball.