Blackburn baseball still in tournament contention

Blackburn baseball still in tournament contention

With just six conference contests remaining, the Blackburn College baseball team remains in the hunt for a berth in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

After a three-game sweep of MacMurray College this past weekend, the Beavers are now 9-9 in the league in a fourth place tie.  The top four teams make the conference tournament. Sunday, April 21, Blackburn rallied from a four run deficit with a seven run sixth inning rally to propel the Beavers to a 14-10 series sweeping win.

Blackburn rapped out a season-high 21 hits on the afternoon with eight of the starters recording a multiple hit game. Donny Fuhrhop led the way with a four for six game and three RBI’s, Josh Voigtlander was three for five with four RBI’s. Franklin Bush and Aaron Moody each had three hits while Cody Flowers, Matt Mokriakow, Jose Osorio and Vinnie Birk all had two hits apiece. Caleb Schupbach, who pitched four 1/3 innings of relief, picked up the win.

Also this past Sunday, the Beavers hosted division I Western Illinois University, as the Leathernecks were cancelled in their conference series with North Dakota State University. The Beavers had to hold on to their more experienced pitchers for the conference games and Western Illinois was able to break open a close game midway through and then roll to a 20-2 win. This is believed to be the first time a division I opponent has played at Blackburn College.

Last Saturday, the team won both games of a doubleheader against MacMurray in Jacksonville.

In game one, senior Cody Unser twirled a 3-hitter en route to a 3-1 victory. In the seven inning affair, Unser struck out six and allowed only one run. The Beavers got on the board first in the fourth inning when Aaron Moody crossed the plate on a Jon Lowry safety squeeze. Moody knocked in the second run on a sacrifice fly that plated Cody Flowers in the fifth inning. Blackburn would tack on another in the seventh inning as insurance.

The second game of a doubleheader was a wild one. Blackburn took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the second before the Highlanders of MacMurray put two runs on the board. The Beavers would answer with two more of their own in the third inning before MacMurray knotted the game at five in the fourth. From that point on, starting pitcher Vinnie Birk found a groove and threw five consecutive scoreless innings which sent the game into extra innings. Birk struck out six in nine innings while throwing a whopping 160 pitches.

Blackburn took the lead in the tenth inning when Moody scored on a Jose Osorio RBI ground-out. Caleb Schupbach came in to close the door in the bottom half. He set down the Highlanders 1-2-3 for his first save of the year.

Blackburn is now 11-18 overall and will host Eureka College this week in a SLIAC doubleheader before travelling for a crucial three-game series at Westminster College Saturday and Sunday.