GEORGETOWN - After allowing six runs in the first four innings, the Southwestern University baseball team settled in and held a hot hitting Millikin team to no runs in the next five innings and rode the momentum of a seven run second innings to defeat the Big Blue, 10-6, on Friday evening at Rockwell Field.
It was a fast start for Millikin as they gave freshman Jacob Frankel some issues early on, scoring two in the first thanks in part to a lead-off homerun and then two more in the second to take a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the second.
However, Southwestern got rolling in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of four walks by the Big Blue as well as an error to explode for seven runs and take control of the game. Sophomore Byron Dowdell II drove in one while another scored on an error.
Down 4-3, freshman Austin Smith came to the plate with the bases loaded and ripped a two RBI double down the left field line to put the Pirates in front 5-4. Senior Jason McCormack made it 6-4 on a RBI ground out while a wild pitch scored one more to make it 7-4.
The Big Blue, who came into the game 6-0 and hitting .380 as a team, pushed a run across in the third and fourth innings, but Frankel settled in and began to put the Millikin bats in check, putting together scoreless innings to keep the Pirates ahead.
Southwestern scored two runs in the fourth on RBI groundouts by Smith and McCormack and added another one in the fifth on a RBI double by sophomore Daniel Montgomery Jr.
Frankel had to grind, but got six solid innings before the Pirates handed it over to senior Riley Wayland. Frankel (1-0) went six complete, allowing six runs on 10 hits, but only allowed four hits the final four innings, going on to earn his first career-win. Wayland got a three innings save, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out two.
Millikin threatened in the seventh, with the meat of their lineup at the plate, but twice the Big Blue tried to advance on a ball in the dirt, and twice they got caught stealing on strikes from junior catcher Colby Schmidt. The Big Blue got runners on in the eighth and ninth innings, but Wayland buckled down and finished the game off.
Freshman Seth Sparks continues his excellent start to his career, going 3-for-5 with a run scored while Montgomery was 2-for-4 with a RBI double and two runs scored. Smith drove in three despite going 1-for-5 while McCormack drove two in despite an 0-for-4 day. Freshman Ryan Baranowski was 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored while junior Cole Kelly was 1-for-3 with a run scored and two walks.
Millikin was led by Anthony Bryan who finished 4-for-5 while Devin Crews went 2-for-5 with a solo shot. Connor Gross (2-1) got the start and took the loss after three innings of work. A total of six Big Blue pitchers saw action on Friday.
The two teams are back at it tomorrow afternoon as they square off in game two of the series at 2 PM.