by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sportswriter
The Alice Lloyd Eagles hosted the Brescia Bearcats in a four-game set this past weekend. The Eagles ended up taking the first two games of the series but lost the last two. The series was played in Pippa Passes, Kentucky.
Game 1 of the series was a low-scoring affair. Neil Dillon was on the mound for the Eagles. The game was scoreless until the home half of the third inning. Alice Lloyd pushed across the go-ahead run at that time to take a 1-0 lead. Brescia responded with a run in the next half inning to tie the score at 1-1. ALC regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting a run to take a one run lead, 2-1. This would prove to be the difference as the Eagles would hold off a comeback attempt by Brescia.
Greg Wright came off the bench to get a pinch-hit RBI while Josh Mills drove home the other run. Dillon pitched sensationally, tossing a complete game. He gave up just 1 run on 5 hits. He did not walk a batter and recorded 4 strikeouts.
There would be more offense provided in the second game. Wayne Sparks took to the mound as the starting pitcher for this contest. The bats were on display early and often for the Eagles as they would get three runs in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. ALC got one run in the second and third innings to increase their lead to 5-0.
Brescia would not go down quietly, however. The Bearcats scored two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth as they closed the gap to one. The Eagles knew things were getting a bit close and added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame to make it 6-4.
Chance Westerfield came on in relief to close the game out. Shane Pack led the way with 2 RBIs in this match-up. Josh Mills, Greg Wright, Bobby Caldwell, and Cody Hyden all also drove in runs. Sparks pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving 4 runs on 8 hits and struck out four batters. Westerfield pitched one and one-third innings out of the bullpen, surrendering only 2 hits.
With a chance to take the series, Dylan Sullins was given the ball in the third game. Brescia had other ideas about the series, though, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first.
The Eagles sliced the margin in half in the third to make it 2-1. Brescia and ALC scored one run apiece in the fifth, setting the score at 3-2. Unfortunately for Alice Lloyd, BU widened the gap in the sixth inning when they added two runs to make it 5-2.
The home team had one last opportunity to tie the game or win it in the seventh. They were able to get two runs, but left the tying run stranded on base to end the game. Four runs scored for ALC, and Shane Pack and Greg Wright each had 1 RBI. Sullins pitched four and one-third innings, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits while walking 3. Daniel Burgess and Russell Sweeney combined to pitch two and two-thirds innings in relief, giving up 2 runs, 2 hits, and a walk.
The series finale looked an awful lot like the third game of the set. Ryan Burrow started the game for ALC. Brescia again got on the board first with a run in the opening inning while Alice Lloyd would answer that with a run to make it 1-1. BU got the lead back in the second with another one-run inning.
The Eagles responded by evening up the score after four, 2-2.
However, Brescia took the lead for good in the fifth. The Bearcats scored two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to make it a three-run cushion, but ALC wasn’t going to led Brescia cruise to the victory in this game. The Eagles tried to rally again as they would get two runs, but unfortunately, just could not find a way to bring home the tying run.
Greg Wright, Josh Arnold, Zach Hancock and Ben Ray had one RBI apiece. Burrow was playing under the weather and could only go two innings, giving up 2 runs on 1 hit. Russell Sweeney pitched two scoreless innings while Chance Westerfield went one and two-third innings, surrendering 3 runs on 4 hits and striking out 1. Jordan Horn pitched one and one-third innings, allowing just 1 hit.
The Eagles next face Pittsburgh’s Point Park University in a four-game series on March 22nd and 23rd. Both doubleheaders will be played at Alice Lloyd’s Reeve Athletic Field, beginning at 1 PM and noon, respectively.
**NOTE: The March 19th match-up with the University of the Cumberlands was postponed and will be rescheduled soon.