VU romps on South Suburban after thriller over Lakeland; Trailblazers have lots of heroes in pair of wins - Athletics

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VU romps on South Suburban after thriller over Lakeland; Trailblazers have lots of heroes in pair of wins

For the second consecutive game, a position player took the mound Sunday for the Vincennes University Baseball Team and was a central figure in helping the Trailblazers to a victory at Jerry Blemker Field.
Sunday’s win capped off a 3-1 weekend for VU as the Trailblazers hosted South Suburban, Lakeland and Lake Michigan for games on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.
Sophomore shortstop Brad Hartman was tabbed as Sunday’s starter in VU’s fourth game in three days. Hartman went the distance against South Suburban as the Trailblazers exploded for 10 runs in the fourth inning and beat the Bulldogs, 13-3, in five innings. For his part, Hartman gave up three runs (two in the final inning) while scattering six hits, striking out four and walking only one batter.
At the plate Sunday, freshman Jared Lauer was 3-for-4 with three RBI, while sophomore Lance Myers went 4-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in. Freshman Lane Dransfield had two hits in two plate appearances, including a triple, and drove in three runs as well. Freshmen Alex Rojas and Zach Norman also had RBI on Sunday.
The win and Hartman’s performance on the mound came less than 24 hours after the Trailblazers (6-13) had snatched a 7-6 come-from-behind victory from Lakeland (OH) on Saturday night. In that game, freshman Austin Slover had come on in relief and worked 3 1/3 innings of one-run (unearned) baseball. He yielded only one hit, struck out five and walked one batter to quiet the Laker bats until the Trailblazer offense could claw out the walk-off win.
On Sunday, the Trailblazer offense got a run in the first inning and added two more in the third to lead 3-1 over South Suburban. VU then sent 15 hitters to the plate in the fourth when the Trailblazers meshed five hits with six bases on balls and a wild pitch from Bulldog pitchers for the 10-run eruption.
The big inning began when Dransfield and Norman led off with walks and both advanced on Volz’s sacrifice bunt. Lauer then scored Dransfield and Norman with a double to left field before Myers brought Lauer home with a single.
Rojas kept the inning going with another walk. Following Hartman’s groundout, VU was issued two consecutive bases on balls to sophomore catcher Jake Carey and freshman Justin Kirkpatrick. Dransfield then came to the plate for his second at-bat of the inning and tripled to clear the bases and make it 9-1.
After Dransfield stole second, Norman singled to drive in Dransfield. Volz walked and Lauer collected his third RBI of the inning when Norman came home. Myers wrapped up the inning’s production when his second hit of the inning brought Volz in and staked Hartman and the Trailblazers to a 13-1 advantage while being three outs from the mercy-rule five-inning victory.
In the top of the fifth, Hartman (1-0) got a fly ball for the first out before a double, a VU error, a wild pitch and a walk produced a pair of runs. However, Hartman induced a groundball and a fly ball to end the game.
Sunday’s victory was also a bit of revenge for South Suburban’s 11-6 win over the Trailblazers on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday; VU 7, Lake Land 6:
On Saturday night, VU came from behind and tripped up Lakeland (OH) behind Slover’s relief effort on the mound and the opportunistic Trailblazer batting order’s seven-run production despite getting only four hits.
VU trailed, 6-4, entering the bottom of the sixth inning. In that frame, Carey led off with a walk and Dransfield was hit by a pitch before Norman sacrificed both runners to second and third. Volz walked to load the bases and Lauer then hit a fly ball near the line in right field. The ball glanced off the Lakeland right fielder’s glove as he raced toward the line and the ball bounced off the right fielder’s arms and chest before dropping for an error and Carey and Dransfield scored tie the game at 6-6.
After Slover (1-0) kept the Lakers off the board in the seventh by sandwiching two line-drive outs to Volz in center and a strikeout around a single, the Trailblazers went to work again in the bottom of the inning.
Freshman Justin Kirkpatrick, pinch-hitting for Hartman, singled to lead off. Then, sophomore Kaleb Waller came up to hit for sophomore Chris Minks and Waller’s planned sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit when he beat out the throw to first.
With runners on first and second, Carey laid down another bunt and moved Kirkpatrick and Waller to third and second with an opportunity for Dransfield to win the game with a sacrifice fly. Dransfield was intentionally walked to set up a possibility of a double-play to end the threat and Norman came to the plate with the chance to be the hero.
With the count 0-1, Norman popped up to the second baseman on the right field grass but the ball bounced off the Laker player’s glove for an error and Kirkpatrick scampered home with the winning run for the 7-6 victory.
VU's homestand will continue Friday (March 27) when the Trailblazers host Spoon River at 7 p.m. at Jerry Blemker Field.

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