Fulton, MO, 3/26/2022 – The Westminster College baseball team was coming off their best performance season, a 20-4 victory Friday night in Columbia, Mo. At Battle High School over the Principia College Panthers. They took the field against the same team Saturday this time on campus at Saucier Field looking to continue the success of Friday night. Lefty Bode Gebbink (St, Joseph, Il. / St. Joeseph-Ogden) was outstanding on the mound and the Blue Jay bats were on fire again in a 11-1 Blue Jay victory Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays improved to 3-14 overall and 2-3 in the SLIAC.
The Blue Jays got started early. Payton Whitehead (Belleville, Il. / Belleville West) led off the game with a single to right. A passed ball moved him into scoring position. Matt Lukins (Clark, MO / Rock Bridge) would then lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Whitehead to third with just one out. Steven Diaz (Highland, IL / Highland) would chop a groundball to the right side that got Whitehead home with the RBI groundout staking the Jays to an early 1-0 lead.
Gebbink (1-2) would allow Principia a single and a double to start the top of the second inning. With runners on second and third with nobody out Gebbink would get himself out of the jam by striking out the side to strand the runners. Gebbink would go on to strikeout ten Principia batters in a masterful performance. He would pitch five innings giving up a lone run on five hits walking two to go along with the ten strikeouts to earn the win.
The big inning was coming for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the third inning. Whitehead doubled to lead off the inning. In a repeat of the first inning Lukins would lay down a sacrifice bunt to the exact same place he did earlier. Whitehead would move to third with one out. Diaz would come through again only this time he would hit an RBI double to the gap to score Whitehead for a 2-0 Blue Jay lead. Senior catcher Derek Shikles (New Bloomfield, MO / New Bloomfield) would double when the right fielder for the Panthers lost the ball in the wind. Diaz had to wait to see if the ball was caught and could only advance to third after the ball dropped in. Jays DH Quin Adelson (Louisville, KY / North Oldham) would pick up both runners with a two RBI double to score Diaz and Shikles for 4-0 lead. In a replay of Shikles double Hayden Hirschvogel (Jefferson City, Mo. / Jefferson City) would double and Adelson would advance to third. Austin Mayton (Wentzville, Mo. / Fort Zumwalt North) was hit by pitch to load the bases. This set the stage for first baseman Zach Wolken (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) to come through with a hard hit double down the right field line driving in Hirschvogel and Adelson for a commanding 6-0 lead. The Blue Jays were not done. Spencer Keiser (Old Monroe, MO / Winfield) would single up the middle to drive in Mayton and Wolken. When the dust settled and the fourth inning rolled around the Blue Jays were on top 8-0.
The Jays would add a run in the fourth inning on an RBI ground out by Adelson to push the lead to 9-0. The Panthers would finally get on the board in the fifth inning on an RBI single to cut the Jays lead to 9-1. The Blue Jays would add two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Whitehead and Lukins were in the middle of it all again. Whitehead would deliver an sacrifice fly to bring in Mayton who had singled and advanced to third on a Keiser single to make it 10-1. Lukins then singled in Keiser for the final score of the game to make it 11-1.
Senior right hander Jacob Waeltermann (Barnhart, Mo. / Seckman), who came on in relief in the sixth inning, worked two scoreless innings to shut the door on the Panthers. He worked two innings yielding no runs and just one hit while striking out two and walking none.
The Jays will be back in action in the third and final game of the series later Saturday. The third game will count as a non-conference game on the schedule.