Athens, TN- The St. Andrews University baseball team hung with the defending NAIA World Series Champs from Tennessee Wesleyan College Monday as they were able to win game 2 of the doubleheader 3-2 after dropping game one 6-5.
The Knights got off to a 2-0 lead in game 1, but then watched it all disappear as starter John Allen Renn could not find his rhythm in the first inning as TWC pounded on him for 6 runs. However, Renn was able to shut down the Bulldogs the rest of the way as he pitched 6 shutout innings and did not allow any more hits.
However, SAU just could not quite rally back all the away as they were able to bring the tying run to third base but were not able to score in falling 6-5. Juniors Ryan Harrold and Daniel Whitecavage led the Knights offense with 3 for 4 days as they both drove in a run while sophomore 3B Michael Luing went 2 for 2. Senior left fielder Matt McCue also grabbed 2 hits. Whitecavage led with 2 doubles while SS Rickey Schattauer and RF Jeremy McDowell picked up the other RBIs.
SAU did contribute to the six run first inning as they made 3 errors, but still were able to outhit the Bulldogs 12-7 in game 1. TWC's closer Noah Paird was able to record the save in the 7th.
St. Andrews looked great in game 2 however, as starter Joe McCarty was able to control TWC's offense pitching 5 and 2/3 innings giving up just 5 hits, 2 runs and 3 walks as he was able to hold on to his 4th win of the season and lower his era to 3.26. Freshman pitcher Evan Tucker came in to close the game earning his first save of the year as he shut down the TWC offense throwing 1 1/3 innings.
The Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway thru game 2 thanks to a 4th inning 2 run single and a third inning solo home run off the bat of sophomore RF Michael Durig, who went 3 for 4 with all 3 RBIs today. He now leads the team with 14 RBIs and 4 home runs.
Sophomore DH Matthew Beauchemin also had a good day as he went 3 for 4 while Tyler Jordan kept his hot hitting alive as he has now hit in 9 of his last 10 games with another multi-hi performance today. Both guys are now hitting at a .400 clip.
St. Andrews played very well this series and really held their own vs. one of the best NAIA teams in the country. SAU was able to outhit the Bulldogs in every game of the series and by a combined total of 26-16.
"This past weekend proved we will be a force to be reckoned within the Appalachian Athletic Conference and the NAIA. The thing I'm most proud of is we never gave in. Our guys had it set in their mind we would beat them (TWC) and they accomplished that goal. Our team showed a heck of a lot of character against TWC and I'm extremely proud to have witnessed that," says Head Coach Drew Roberts.
The big win over the defending NAIA champs, who are now 14-5, should definitely give the Knights, now 10-4 and 1-2, some confidence heading into road matchups with UNC-Pembroke and AAC rival Union College later this week. The game at Pembroke is now slated to start at 4 pm on Thursday in UNCP. Follow this link to read a preview of the uncp-sau game: