Fulton, MO. 4/3/2022–The Blue Jay baseball team was back in action on Sunday afternoon to take on the Webster University Gorloks in the last game of their three-game series. The Blue Jays dropped the first two games on Saturday and looked to bounce back in game three. It was not to be, as errors riddled the Blue Jay defense and the Gorloks hit two home runs on seventeen hits to defeat the Blue Jays 9-2.
Kaleb Hinkle-Pruett (Alton, IL / Roxana) started on the bump for the Blue Jays in his sixth start of the season. He got 2 quick outs to start the game but walked the next batter. With runners on first and second, Hinkle-Pruett got the ground ball he needed to get out of the inning, but a throwing error allowed a run to score and kept the inning going. He would walk the next batter to load the bases. The inning ended, with the Gorlok batter fouling out to the right fielder. The Blue Jays avoided disaster and limited the Gorloks to just one run.
In the bottom of the first inning, Peyton Whitehead (Belleville, Il. / Belleville West) got things going with a single to left. Derek Shikles (New Bloomfield, MO / New Bloomfield) would score Whitehead with a single to even the score 1-1.
Hinkle-Pruett found himself in trouble again in the top of the second inning after giving up a lead-off double, a single, and a walk to load the bases with one out in the inning. The Gorloks flew out to centerfield, but a great throw home from Steven Diaz (Highland, Il. / Highland) kept the runners in place. Hinkle-Pruett got out of the inning by producing a foul out down the first baseline. The Blue Jays once again avoided the big inning by the Gorloks.
Webster would extend their lead in the third inning, going up 2-1, and once again in the sixth to go up 3-1. Then disaster would finally strike in the seventh inning with the Gorloks scoring five runs on five hits, one of those being a home run to right-center field.
The Blue Jays tried to get a rally going in the bottom of the seventh when Spencer Keiser (Old Monroe, MO / Winfield) reached first on an error, Zach Wolken (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) got hit by a pitch. After a fielder's choice, Whitehead came to the plate with runners on first and second. He lined a single to center field to load the bases with one out and the Blue Jays looked to have something brewing. Wolken would score on a passed ball but sadly for the Blue Jay faithful in attendance, that would be all, as the Gorloks snuffed out the rally. The Blue Jays would leave three runners on base, nine total on the day.
The Gorloks tacked on one more run for good measure in the eighth to make it a 9-2 final score.
Hinkle-Pruett went two innings and a third, giving up one earned run on six hits. Walking four batters on 56 pitches. Jacob Waeltermann (Barnhart, Mo. / Seckman) came in to pitch with 1 out in the top of the third inning. He would go for three and two third innings. Giving up a run on three hits, he recorded two walks and two strikeouts. Matt Trout (Lee's Summit, Mo. / Blue Springs South) came onto the pitch at the top of the seventh. He would give up 1 run on four hits. Corbin Harrison (Eldon, MO / Eldon) would pitch an inning and two-thirds, striking out three, walking two batters. He would give up two runs on one hit. Nathan Shepard (Warrenton, Mo. / Warrenton) pitched the final four outs of the game, with one strikeout and gave up three hits.
Whitehead would go three for four on the day with a double. Shikles would go two for four on the day with an RBI. The duo would combine for five of the eight the Blue Jay hits.
The Blue Jays will travel to Louisville, KY next weekend to take on the Spalding University Golden Eagles in three-game series on April 9th and 10th.