Stepp pitches Beavers’ first baseball no-no

Jonathan “Bubby” Stepp pitched the first no-hitter in Blackburn College history last Friday in a 7-0 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win at Eureka College.

Stepp faced the minimum number of hitters as he struck out six and walked one – which happened to be former Carlinville Cavalier Jake Carter.

The Beavers opened the first inning with four straight hits to take a 2-0 lead after one. Blayten Magana and Tyler Durand had RBI hits in the inning.

An RBI double by Shane Lewis made it 3-0 after two. Richard Cardenas had an RBI double in the fourth to make it 4-0. Joey Szerletich led off the fifth inning with a home run to stretch the lead to 5-0. Gregorio Costilla had an RBI in a two-run seventh to wrap up the scoring.

“Bubby was just outstanding for us, it was his best outing of the year in regards to getting ahead of hitters and then his slider was really on,” said Blackburn Coach Mike Neal. “It was really exciting for our guys down the stretch knowing that a no-hitter was brewing.”

Stepp didn’t know anything about what was going on, focusing on being in the zone.

“I didn’t pay attention to it – I actually didn’t know I had one going, no one said anything,” said Stepp. “I guess I realized it when everyone came running out to the mound after the last out,” said Stepp.

The game ended on a 1-6-3 double play and Stepp’s teammates mobbed him on the mound.

Game two did not fare as well for the Beavers as Blackburn dropped the nightcap 8-7.

The Beavers jumped ahead in the first 2-0 before a misplayed fly ball, a walk, wild pitch and passed ball allowed Eureka to tie the game. Eureka scored one in the second and four in the third to jump ahead 7-2 off Blackburn starter Jarrett Sandlin.

Sandlin struggled before settling down with two scoreless innings. In five innings pitched Sandlin walked six and hit two batters.

Blackburn started to rally back with a three-run home run by Magana to cut the lead to 7-5. Eureka extended the lead on a solo home run to go up 8-5 after eight innings.

The Beavers rallied with two more in the ninth and had the tying run on third when the game ended. RJ Rios had his second hit in at many at-bats with a two-run single to cut the lead to 8-7.

Ray Vogel homered twice and drove in four runs for Eureka. Former Cavalier Carter had a double, run and RBI.

On Sunday, the Beavers traveled to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa to face Iowa Wesleyan University. Blackburn dropped a pair of one-run games, 4-3 and 7-6. Walter Jarvis was six for seven at the plate in the two games.

“The amount of fundamental mistakes we are making in games has been killing us, we’ve been continually beating ourselves in games and it’s getting rather frustrating,” said Neal.

For his efforts, Stepp was named SILAC pitcher of the week.

Softball

Weather got the best of the Blackburn College Softball Team this past week as the wet weather prevented the team from trying to build on their four-game winning streak which wrapped up their spring trip in Arkansas. “We had a successful Arkansas trip,” said Blackburn Coach Kerry Crum. “The defense is much improved as we turned five double plays, we are going to keep working on the little things that make us a better team,” added Crum.

Women’s Tennis

The Women’s Tennis Team lost a pair of matches last week falling 8-1 to Greenville College last Tuesday and 9-0 to Illinois College last Thursday. Gariel Pierce won the match against Greenville College. The results of the Greenville match:

Doubles

#1 Gariel Pierce & Karlee Brimberry lost to Allison Fennewald & Courtney Blaser 7-9 #2 Sam Brown & Liz Orr lost to Brooke Bryant & Maddie Walsh 2-8

#3 Bonny Eyer & Cierra Gibson lost to Christina Bowman & Bree Thomas 2-8

Singles

#1 Karlee Brimberry lost to Allison Fennewald 4-6, 2-6

#2 Gariel Pierce defeated Courtney Blaser 6-4, 4-6,  11-9 #3 Liz Orr lost to Christina Bowman 2-6, 1-

#4 Sam Brown lost to Maddi Walsh 0-6, 1-6

#5 Bonny Eyer lost to Bree Thomas 1-6, 0-6

#6 Asia Coleman lost to Maddi Saffel 0-6, 0-6

Results against Illinois College:

Doubles

#1 Gariel Pierce & Karlee Brimberry lost to Kathryn Ryan & Sally Hixson 0-8 #2 Sam Brown & Bonny Eyer lost to Madalyn Derdorf & Lena Reed 4-8

#3 Liz Orr & Fatima Noor lost to Jovana Chavez & Kitty Justice 3-8

#4 Cierra Gibson & Asia Coleman ( No match)

Singles

#1 Karlee Brimberry lost to Kathryn Ryan 0-6, 1-6

#2 Gariel Pierce lost to Sally Hixson 1-6, 4-6

#3 Sam Brown lost to Lena Reed 1-6, 0-6

#4 Bonny Eyer lost to Jovana Chavez 2-8

#5 Asia Coleman lost to Madalyn Derdorf 0-8

#6 Cierra Gibson lost to Kitty Justice 0-8

Men’s Golf

The Men’s Golf Team has been taking advantage of the good weather days in preparation to continue their successful start of the season when they defeated Illinois College and Greenville College in a tri-match. The Beavers had five of the top six golfers as they defeated Illinois College by 16 strokes. Keegan Easley shot a 77 to lead Blackburn. The golfers resume action on Sunday, April 2 at the Webster Invitational.