.Visiting Hillsdale College posted two runs in the top of the ninth inning and then turned back a rally by the Lee baseball team in the bottom of the inning to claim a hard-fought 8-7 victory on Olympic Field at Larry Carpenter Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The victory gave the Chargers a 2-1 edge in the three-game series.
“My hat’s off to Hillsdale. They battled and got some big hits in big moments,” said Lee head Coach Mark Brew after two tough losses. “We were able to show some fight when they took the lead in the eighth inning by bouncing back but couldn’t get off the field with two outs in the ninth.
We also had great opportunities to extend the lead with lead-off doubles in the third and fourth innings but failed to score.”
Junior first baseman Jeff Landis led the Hillsdale victory. He was 3-for-5 at the plate with five RBI and a homerun. He stepped up in the top of the ninth inning and singled up the middle to drive home two runs and put the Chargers on top for good.
The other half of the Hillsdale wrecking crew belonged to Lewis Beals. The junior outfielder drove in three of his team’s eight runs. He had a big two-run homer in the eighth inning to put his team up 6-5 and earlier had an RBI single. Nick Stepke also had two hits and scored a run in the win.
The Flames rallied back in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pair of runs and took a 7-6 lead. Luke Collier singled and advanced to second when JJ Williams walked. After Noah Hattier reached on a fielder’s choice, Brandon Daniels had an RBI single that scored Collier and Josiah Miller later reached on an infield that pushed Hattier across the plate.
Daniels had a perfect 4-for-4 afternoon at the plate, including a double. He knocked in two runs and scored once. Miller, Isaac Quinones and Collier posted two hits apiece. Miller, Quinones and Collier doubled while Collier scored two runs and Quinones one. Nate Bynum had a hit that scored two runs while Hattier came up with a hit and an RBI and scored a run. Dylan Standifer also had a hit and an RBI.
Hillsdale used four pitchers in the victory. Drew Olssen got the start and worked four innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs. Paul Brophy and Chad Stevens followed before Dillon came on in the eighth to pitch 1.1 innings and picked up the win. He allowed two hits and no runs while striking out two.
The Flames also used four hurlers in the loss. Greyson Linderman got the start. In four solid innings, he allowed three hits, a pair of earned runs and fanned six while walking only one. Colt McKibben came on for 2.1 innings and allowed a couple of hits and no earned runs. Tim Gooden was charged with the loss. In 2.1 innings, he surrendered four hits and four earned runs. However, he did strike out five and walked one. David White (0.1) gave up a hit in the ninth and struck out one hitter.
The Flames will regroup and return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they will host Lincoln Memorial University in a single nine-inning game scheduled for 3 p.m. at Larry Carpenter Stadium. “We will get back to work tomorrow and get ready for LMU. It is an opportunity to improve,” the coach concluded.