Jackson, MS, 2/18/2022 – The Westminster College baseball team kicked off it's 2022 campaign with a double header down in Jackson, Mississippi against the Millsaps College Majors. The Blue Jays outhit the Majors 6-5 in game one but could not get the timely hit and fell 6-1. The Blue Jays took an early lead in game two, but the Majors chipped away and tied the game and sent it to extra innings where the Majors would walk off with a win in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Game One: Box Score
The first game of the day started with both teams pitching staffs strong early. The Majors would scratch across two runs in the bottom of the fourth with the aid of a Blue Jay error to take the lead. It was all the runs they would need in game one as they went on to win the opener 6-1.
Sophomore lefty Bode Gebbink (St, Joseph, Il. / St. Joeseph-Ogden) got the season opening start for the Blue Jays. He would go four and two thirds innings giving up two runs with only one of those being earned. He gave up just three hits while striking out four and walking two. Senior Jacob Waeltermann (Barnhart, Mo. / Seckman) would come on in relief in the fifth inning. He would retire the first seven batters that he faced. Control problems in the eighth inning led to the Majors tacking on four runs including a three-run home run after runners reached on a walk and a hit by pitch. The Majors then added a run on an error to close out the scoring.
The Blue Jays threatened a few times in the game but broke through on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning. With one out center fielder Steven Diaz (Highland, IL / Highland) singled and then stole second, his first of two stolen bases in the game. Parker Schnieders (Jefferson City, Mo. / Helias) would drive him in with an RBI single to center.
Diaz led the Blue Jays at the plate going 2-4 with two stolen bases and a run scored. Schnieders, Spencer Kaiser (Old Monroe, MO / Winfield), Payton Whitehead (Belleville, Il. / Belleville West) and Derek Shikles (New Bloomfield, MO / New Bloomfield) each collected a base hit for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were plagued by the strikeout as they were set down on strikes 12 times in game one.
Game Two: Box Score
The second game of the double header started off hot for the Blue Jays as they would jump on top scoring two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. The lead would grow to 4-0 in the fifth inning. The Majors would begin their comeback with one in the fifth inning, two in the sixth inning, one in the eighth inning to tie it and hit a walk off single in the 11th inning to take game two 5-4.
The first inning saw two guys continue their hitting from game one as Schnieders and Diaz would hit back-to-back one out singles to get the Blue Jays going. Hayden Hirschvogel (Jefferson City, Mo. / Jefferson City) singled between first and second to drive in Schnieders for the first Blue Jay lead of the season at 1-0. Coltin Green (St. Anthony, Mo. / St. Elizabeth) would deliver a single to center to load the bases. Whitehead would then collect his first RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Diaz for a 2-0 lead. Hirschvogel was thrown out at third trying to advance to end the inning.
In the top of the second inning the Blue Jays senior catcher Shikles singled up the middle with one out. Ben Parks (St. Louis, Mo. / Parkway North) would reach on a throwing error by the Majors second baseman. Shikles would advance to third on the error. Shikles would score on a sacrifice fly to right field by Matt Lukins (Clark, MO / Rock Bridge) for a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth inning Parks would reach base to lead off the inning on an error by the Majors shortstop. Lukins would reach base on a bunt single that advanced Parks to second base. A Schneider's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up to second and third with one out. Hirschvogel came through again with a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Parks for a 4-0 lead.
Unfortunately, for the Blue Jays, those would be the last runs they would score in the game. The Majors would pound out 10 hits and score five runs in the last seven innings to win the game in 11 innings 5-4. The Blue Jays Trent Morrow (Russelville, Mo. / Russellville) got the start in game two and worked seven and two thirds innings giving up 4 runs, all of them earned, on eight hits while striking out four and walking two. Freshman Kaleb Hinkle-Pruett (Alton, IL / Roxana) worked a scoreless ninth and tenth innings before running into trouble in the 11th inning and yielding the walk off two out single. He worked three innings giving up just the one run on three hits while striking out four and walking two in taking the loss (0-1).
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Saturday February 19th when they take on the University of Dallas in Jackson, Mississippi in one nine inning game. The first pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. CST.