The Blackburn Beavers baseball team dropped a doubleheader SLIAC conference matchup to the visiting Fontbonne University Griffins. The games took place on April 13th, 2019 at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.
Early in the first game, Fontbonne took the lead on a fielder's choice, when senior Jonathan Stepp attempted to throw out Michael Puckett Jr., who scored from third on a late tag from senior catcher Ryan Steen. Joey Casey then had an RBI, on another fielder's choice, allowing Matt Tossick to score. These two runs would prove to be the only runs scored by either team, as the game continued to be close until the Griffins strengthened their grip in the top of the fifth after a missed scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fourth by the Beavers, which could've possibly tied the game. The Beavers left two runners on base. Senior Ryan Steen singled into left, followed by freshman Tyler Jackson doubling off of the left field wall. With Steen on third and Jackson on second, the Beavers couldn't manage to drive in any runs. In the top of the fifth, Jonathan Hoevelmann singled and then stole second. After one out, Hoevelmann stole third. Jackson Penrod then walked, followed by Braeden Dobbs walking, loading the bases. Puckett Jr. then came to the plate and blasted a grand slam over the left center wall, giving the Griffins a comfortable 6-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Beavers struggled to spark any offense, as the strong pitching of Luke Summers kept the Beavers off the board. After a pitching change by the Beavers in the top of the sixth, the Griffins scored another run. Tyler Grimes led off the inning by singling to right field, followed by Joey Casey walking. With runners on first and second, a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance. After one out, Gus Purschke flied out to right field for an RBI. In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Steven Diaz singled into left field, but was out at second on a fielder's choice off of a hit by Steen. Tyler Jackson then singled to left, putting Steen into scoring position. However, the next two Beavers struck out swinging at the plate, allowing the Griffins to keep their control of the game. In the top of the seventh, senior Lowell Schwartz came in to pitch for the Beavers. Braeden Dobbs continued the hit show for the Griffins by singling into left field. He then advanced to second on a passed ball, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Puckett Jr. then came to the plate and continued his big day, homering to left field once again. Following this, Matt Tossick reached first on an error by the Beavers. Matt Manint was then hit by a pitch, advancing Tossick to second. After a strikeout, Tossick scored after stealing third and advancing home on a botched throw by the Beavers. Manint advanced to second, and after Joey Casey flied out to right field, Hoevelmann homered to left field, continuing the Griffins hit barrage. This would be the last of the runs scored by Fontbonne in game one, as Luke Summers struck out the next three batters in the bottom of the seventh. Fontbonne won the game by a final score of 12-0. Luke Summer was the winning pitcher for the Griffins, improving his record to 7-2. He pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits, striking out thirteen and walking two. Isaac Garrett took the loss for the Beavers. He pitched four innings, allowing six hits, six earned runs, walking five and striking out none.
Game two was another hitting parade for the Griffins. In the top of the second, Puckett Jr. doubled into center field. Matt Tossick then bunted and reached first, advancing Puckett Jr. to third. Matt Manint was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Tyler Grimes then singled in the infield, scoring Puckett Jr. Joey Casey then flied out to right field, an RBI sac fly, scoring Tossick, a close play as Freshman outfielder Trevor Platt nearly threw out Tossick. Hoevelmann then doubled into left center, scoring Manint. After another out, Jackson Penrod singled into right center, scoring Hoevelmann and Grimes, but was thrown out by Trevor Platt trying to reach second, on a great scooping tag by shortstop Tyler Jackson. The Griffins led 5-0 after the top of the second. The strong pitching of John Hughes kept the Beavers off the board for a majority of the game. In the top of the fourth inning, Tyler Grimes doubled into left field. After advancing to third, Hoevelmann scored him by singling into center field. In the top of the fifth, Puckett Jr. doubled into left field. Tossick then doubled in center, but Puckett was only able to advance to third. Manint then flied out to center field, allowing Puckett Jr. to score, and advancing Tossick to third. Tyler Grimes then doubled in left field, scoring Tossick. After Joey Casey flied out, Hoevelmann then doubled into right field, after Platt missed a diving attempt at the ball, which scored Grimes. Gus Purschke then reached on an error, and after a double steal, Hoevelmann scored on a throwing error by the Beavers. The Griffins had a comfortable 10-0 lead after the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, freshman Mitchell Binder singled into left field. Junior Austin Presley then walked, and after a strikeout, Binder and Presley advanced on a wild pitch. Trevor Platt then grounded out to the shortstop, scoring Binder, which would be the only run of the game for the Beavers. In the top of the sixth, the Griffins continued to strengthen their grip on the Beavers. After Braeden Dobbs doubled into right field, Tossick reached first on an infield single, advancing Dobbs to third. Manint then singled to right field, adding another run for Fontbonne. In the top of the seventh, Purschke reached first on an error, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jackson Penrod then singled into center field, scoring Purschke, the last run of the game for the Griffins. Mike Jacobson closed out the game for the Griffins, striking out Platt to end the game. The Griffins took game two by a score of 12-1. John Hughes took the win for the Griffins. He pitched five innings, allowing one hit, one run and striking out eight. Senior Dalton Fisher took the loss for the Beavers. He lasted six innings, allowing 17 hits, eleven runs and striking out three.
The Beavers will look to redeem the doubleheader loss as they take on Westminster College on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019. The matchup will be another doubleheader, and will take place at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, starting at 1:00 p.m.