Bulldogs baseball splits with Saints

Truman State Baseball(KTVO).JPG

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Bulldog Baseball team picked up their first shutout of the season but then lost a 6-5 heartbreaker in the nightcap to split their Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader with Maryville University on Saturday.

Bryan Clark, Kent Frantz and Peter Young scattered six hits and the Bulldogs won a game of inches with the Saints in the opener 2-0. Maryville erased a 4-1 Truman lead in the finale to take game two by a 6-5 score. The Saints scored the go ahead runs in the top of the sixth and held on for the win.

The two teams will be back in action on Sunday for another conference twinbill.

Game 1 Recap:

It was literally a game of inches. Two runners were thrown out at the plate, a home run was pulled back inside the park for an out and each team had two clutch double plays with runners in scoring position. On top of that, Jason Priest's two-out RBI single after Chris Iliopoulos painted the first base line with a double gave Truman their only runs of the contest.

Clark put down 10 of his first 11 hitters faced including an over the fence, home run saving catch by Brendan Trimble in the second before getting into trouble in the fourth. A pair of walks put runners at the corners with one out when Camdon Mercier tried to safety squeeze Tyler Catlett home. Clark fielded the ball and flipped it from his glove to Wyatt Fones for the out then got a flyout to end the threat.

Truman had runners on in the first four innings before breaking through in the fifth. Adam Stolley, who replaced Trimble in the third, slapped a single up the middle with one out. Charlie Kreh lined out for the second that brought up Iliopoulos. The senior pulled one inside the first base bag and it touched down on the paint toward the right field corner for a double to put runners in scoring position for Priest.

After a protest of the call by the Maryville coaching staff, Priest shot a ball up the middle to give Truman the lead.

The Saints got a leadoff single in the sixth but two web gems by Stolley and Dave Gambino preserved the lead. Stolley had to range deep into left center to snare Louis Niemerg's big for extra bases and Gambino made a diving catch in right center to rob Mercier.

Kent Frantz worked a 1-2-3 seventh but a one-out bunt single started a rally for Maryville. They would load the bases with cleanup hitter Niemerg at the dish. Frantz got a chopper up the middle that Evan Keyser grabbed and flipped to short that start the inning-ending twin killing.

Peter Young worked around a one-out double in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season and 18th for his career.

Kreh, Iliopolous, Priest and Gambino along with Trimble all had two hits apiece as Truman had 13 in the opener, 12 off of Maryville starter AJ Dean.

Game 2 Recap:

Tyler Catlett's two-out single in the sixth broke a five-all tie and Maryville took the second game 6-5.

Truman fell behind 1-0 in the second but put a crooked number on the scoreboard in their half of the inning. Evan Keyser doubled down the left field line to score two runners and Jon Lyons brought in Kayser with a sac fly. The Bulldogs took advantage of an error as Adam Stolley reached then swiped second and scored on a single by Nick Agliolo.

The Saints got two back in the third on a RBI groundout from Mitch Carriger and an unearned run on a high throw.

Each team exchanged runs in the fourth.

In the sixth, Alex Hoffmann got the first hitter but then a walk and single took him out of the game after 5 1/3 innings pitched. Tanner Forck walked the bases loaded to turn the lineup back to the top Cody Klotz. The leadoff hitter got a sac fly to tie the game and Catlett followed with a single up the middle to give the Saints the lead.

Truman got a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh and moved the runner up to second with a sac bunt but a strikeout and groundout ended the game.

Justin Laffleur got the win in relief for the Saints after pitching the final 5 1/3 innings and allowed one hit and struck out four.

Courtesy of Truman State Athletics

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