Fulton, MO, 4/15/2022 – The Blue Jay baseball team blasted its way to a 16-5 opening game victory in eight innings over the visiting Greenville University Panthers. The Jays pounded out 19 hits and three home runs to secure the victory. The Panthers would flip the script on the Blue Jays in game two as they would explode for 19 hits on their way to a 14-7 win in the nightcap as the two teams split the doubleheader and set up game three to see who will take the series on Saturday. The Blue Jays record now stands at 6-20 and 4-9 in SLIAC play.
Game One Boxscore:
The Blue Jays would spot the Panthers a run in the top of the first inning. They Jays would get going with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Steven Diaz (Highland, IL / Highland) would single to start things off. Derek Shikles (New Bloomfield, MO / New Bloomfield) would then triple off the wall in right to drive in Diaz from first. Then up stepped the Blue Jay designated hitter Quin Adelson (Louisville, KY / North Oldham) and he would crush a ball to right field off the Blue Jays brand new scoreboard for a two-run home run to put the Blue Jays on top 3-1!
The Panthers would score two runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 3-3. The Blue Jays would respond in the bottom half of the inning. Adelson would step to the plate and crush a ball this time to left field and off of one of the football fields light poles for the go-ahead solo home run, his second of the day, to take the lead 4-3! Hayden Hirschvogel (Jefferson City, Mo. / Jefferson City) would then single to right field ahead of Austin Mayton (Wentzville, Mo. / Fort Zumwalt North) who would drive an RBI triple to deep center field to plate Hirschvogel for a 5-3 lead. Zach Wolken (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) would drive in Mayton with an RBI ground out to second base to make it 6-3. The Blue Jays never trailed again in the game.
In the fifth inning with the Jays leading 6-4, Adelson would continue his hot streak with a line drive single to left field to start the inning. Hirschvogel would double to left field to put runners on second and third with nobody out. After a strikeout and a groundout failed to plate a run it looked like the Panthers might escape but Blue Jay right fielder Coltin Green (St. Anthony, Mo. / St. Elizabeth) came through with a clutch two out two RBI single to put the Jays up 8-4.
A Panther home run in the top of the sixth made it 8-5 Blue Jays. Matt Lukins (Clark, MO / Rock Bridge) would double to right field and then come home on a Shikles RBI single to right field to make it 9-5.
The Blue Jays would end the game in the bottom of the eighth. Adelson walked and stole second just before Hirschvogel blasted a two-run home run to push the lead to 11-5. After a ground ball out, Wolken would walk followed by an infield single to deep in the hole at short to put runners on first and second with one out. They would then pull off the double steal. Payton Whitehead (Belleville, Il. / Belleville West) would then walk to load the bases. Lukins would drive in Wolken when he was hit by a pitch to make it 12-5. Diaz would then hit a two RBI single to make it 14-5. The senior Shikles would then end the game with a two run double to deep center field to win the game 16-5 by run rule.
Westminster left hander Bode Gebbink (2-3) (St, Joseph, Il. / St. Joeseph-Ogden) continued a solid sophomore campaign by working six innings giving up five runs, four of them earned, on nine base hits. He struck out three and walked only one in picking up the win for the Blue Jays. He helped his own cause by picking off two Panther base runners. Kaleb Hinkle-Pruett (Alton, IL / Roxana) would come on in relief and work two scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit while striking out one and walking none.
Game two would be the polar opposite of game one. The Panthers would take a 6-0 lead before the Blue Jays could get on the board. Wolken would walk in the bottom of the third inning. Green would single to left field and moved Wolken over to third base. He would score an unearned run on a passed ball to cut the Panther lead to 6-1. The Panthers would tack on three more runs in the top of the fourth inning to push their lead to 9-1.
The Blue Jays would begin to chip away to try to get back in the game. Shikles would hit lead off home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 9-2. Hirschvogel would walk and then Mayton would single to center field moving Hirschvogel to third. He would score on Green's RBI double to left field to cut the lead to 9-3.
Diaz would hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it 9-4. Later in the inning Hirschvogel would continue his great day at the plate with an RBI single to score Shikles who had singled earlier to make it 9-5.
The Panthers would squash the Blue Jays hopes of a comeback in the top of the sixth inning as they would hit a three-run home run to make the score 12-5. Whitehead would knock a two-run home run over the wall in left field to make it 12-7 in the bottom of the eighth. The Panthers would add two runs in the top of the ninth to account for the final score of 14-7.
Trent Morrow (2-5) (Russelville, Mo. / Russellville) got the start for the Blue Jays and lasted three and a third innings giving up eight runs on ten hits. He struck out two and walked two to pick up the loss. Matt Trout (Lee's Summit, Mo. / Blue Springs South) pitched two innings in relief giving up four runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked one. Nathan Shepard (Warrenton, Mo. / Warrenton) went one and two thirds' innings allowing no runs on one hit and a walk. Sam Owen (Katy, Tx. / Cinco Ranch) pitched a scoreless eighth inning while striking out one and walking one. Jackson Kespohl (Columbia, MO / Battle) would pitch the ninth inning giving up two runs on four hits while striking out one batter.
The Blue Jays and Panthers will meet on Saturday April 16th for the third and final game of their series. Winner takes the series. The game is set for a first pitch at 12:00 p.m.