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Baseball finishes season at .500

Jordan Norton, Senior Right Handed pitcher, pitching in the second inning. Photo courtesy of MC Athletics.

Jordan Norton, Senior Right Handed pitcher, pitching in the second inning. Photo courtesy of MC Athletics.

The 2017 Maryville College baseball season has come to an end. The Fighting Scots finish their campaign with a 20-20 overall record, 9-9 in USA South Conference play. After winning their first game, the Scots dropped the next two which outed them from the double-elimination tournament—ending their season.

Maryville locked up a five-seed for the USA South Conference Tournament and traveled to four-seed Huntingdon College on Wednesday, April 12 for a match-up with the Hawks. Junior lefty Evan Heffner got the nod for the Scots and held Huntingdon scoreless through three innings.

The visiting Scots struck first in the top of the third inning.

After junior Patrick Messinger was hit by a pitch, freshman Hayden Hollingsworth hit a sac-fly that moved Messinger into scoring position. Junior Bryce Redaja stepped to the plate and ripped an RBI-double, scoring Messinger, and Maryville went into the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, freshman Drew Johnson was hit by a pitch. Next up, senior Sam Jokerst hit an RBI-double that scored Johnson. Up 2-0, Messinger returned to the plate and delivered an RBI-single that scored Jokerst, and the Scots went up 3-0. But Maryville wasn’t done, Hollingsworth roped an RBI-double down the left field line that brought across Messinger. Maryville went into the bottom of the fourth with a 4-0 lead.

The Scots gave up a run in the bottom of the inning, but carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh before the Hawks cut the Maryville lead to two, 4-2. In the top of the eighth, sophomore Joey Tomlinson smacked a double off the fence before being sacrificed to third.

Then, Jokerst stepped to the plate and hit a RBI-double to score Tomlinson, and Maryville led 5-2. In the bottom half of the eighth, the Hawks added a run with a dinger before senior Joe Jones came to the mound and earned his seventh save of the year. Heffner earned his fourth win of the year, going 7.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 earned runs and 4 K’s. The Scots advanced past Huntingdon College with a 5-3 win.

The next day, Maryville traveled to Point University in West Point, Georgia to face LaGrange College—the USA South Regular Season Champions and third team in the nation. Both teams were held scoreless through seven innings. However, a three-run top half of the eighth inning would send Maryville to the loser’s bracket. Maryville fell to the Panthers 3-0.

Later that day, the Scots would face the Greensboro College Pride to stay alive in the USA South Conference Tournament. Maryville took an early lead when Hollingsworth scored Johnson on an infield single. The score would stay at 1-0 until Greensboro scored in the top of the fourth. However, the Scots countered in the bottom half of the inning when Tomlinson scored, and Maryville led 2-1 going into the fifth.

Joe Jones, senior right handed pitcher, pitches ball to the other team. Photo courtesy of MC Athletics.

Joe Jones, senior right handed pitcher, pitches ball to the other team. Photo courtesy of MC Athletics.

Two unearned runs put the Pride up 3-2 in the top of the fifth, and would remain until the top of the seventh when two Greensboro RBIs extended their lead to a 5-2 advantage. The Maryville rally caps worked in the bottom half of the inning, junior Johnny Carpenter crushed a 3-run dinger that tied the game going into the eighth, 5-5.

Greensboro scored two unearned runs in the top of the eighth, and Maryville tried 7-5 going into the ninth inning. In the top half of the ninth, the Pride added two more and pulled away from the Scots, 9-5. In the bottom of the ninth, Redaja’s RBI-single scored Jokerst, but that’s all Maryville could cash in and Greensboro eliminated the Scots from the tournament, 9-6.

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