VU Trailblazer Baseball splits its four games during weekend series of games vs. Lake Michigan, Henry Ford and Parkland - Athletics

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VU Trailblazer Baseball splits its four games during weekend series of games vs. Lake Michigan, Henry Ford and Parkland

The Vincennes University Blazer Baseball Team split its four games of the weekend as the Trailblazers (12-10) hosted Henry Ford College, Lake Michigan College and Parkland College for a series of eight games at Jerry Blemker Field.

VU topped Henry Ford College twice while dropping games to Lake Michigan and Parkland. The Trailblazers’ victories over Henry Ford were by scores of 4-3 and 3-2. VU lost 13-1 to Lake Michigan and 4-2 to Parkland.

VU-Lake Michigan (loss, 13-1)
The Trailblazers were unable to get anything going offensively in the weekend’s first game as VU got only five hits and suffered just as many strikeouts against Lake Michigan starter and winning pitcher Eric Fountain and reliever Brad Beeching.

While the VU hitters were struggling against the Red Hawks’ mound tandem, Trailblazer starter Grant Buckley (1-2) and reliever Nick Cottongim were working two innings each, yielding a combined eight hits and nine runs (six earned). Zach Longnecker then took over and gave up four runs on three hits and three walks.

The Trailblazers scored their run in the fourth when freshman outfielder Walter Baker laced a one-out double, advanced to third on freshman Cade Luker’s sacrifice and scored on freshman Dylan Collins’ single.

VU-Henry Ford (win, 4-3; 8 innings)
VU picked up its first win of the weekend on Saturday behind freshman Pete Wissel’s seven-inning complete game-plus-one-extra-inning performance on the mound. Wissel kept the Trailblazers in a position to win until the eighth when sophomore Levi Archer drove in the winning run.

Wissel (2-3) gave up no earned runs and scattered three hits, while striking out four and walking one batter over eight innings of work to get the win. He turned in 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Wissel gave up a hit in the second and issued his only base on balls in the fourth.
The Hawks scored all three runs in the fifth with a single and double, aided by two VU errors.

After Wissel shut down Henry Ford in the top of the eighth, the Trailblazers got things going in the bottom of the frame when freshman third baseman Mason Bruce hit a ground ball to the Hawks shortstop who threw wide of first. Bruce went to second on the miscue and, one out later, he came home with the winning run when Archer drove a pitch over the right fielder’s head.

Archer and sophomore Austin Slover were both 2-for-3 in the game. Sophomores Jared Lauer and Brett Yeryar also had RBIs for VU.

VU-Parkland (loss, 4-2)
The Trailblazers’ offensive woes continued vs. Parkland on Saturday night as sophomore shortstop Justin Kirkpatrick’s two-run home run in the fourth inning accounted for all of VU’s scoring. Sophomore Jared Lauer’s two singles were the remaining VU base hits.

VU was stymied on three hits off Parkland starter Michael Peters, who went the distance in the seven-inning contest. Peters struck out 14 Trailblazer hitters and walked four.

The Trailblazers got four innings from sophomore starter Lane Dransfield (1-1), who absorbed the loss. Dransfield gave up three runs on three hits while fanning four and walking five hitters. Freshman Lucas Fagg worked the final three innings and was touched up for a run on two hits. Fagg struck out three and didn’t walk any hitters.

VU-Henry Ford (win, 3-2)
VU pushed a run across in the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-all and then took advantage of Henry Ford’s last pitcher’s control problems to score the winning run.

While the offense was getting the lead, VU starter Archer turned in four and two-thirds innings of five-hit baseball while giving up two runs (one earned), striking out four and walking one. He kept VU in position to win and sophomore Austin Gossmann (1-0) earned the victory by being nearly untouchable for two-and-a-third innings.

The decisive sixth inning started for VU with a groundout, but then the Trailblazers received just enough help from new Henry Ford pitcher Tyshaun Chapman to grab the lead. Chapman walked four straight Trailblazer hitters – the last being pinch-hitter Harold Wolfe – and he uncorked a wild pitch during the string of walks. Wolfe’s walk forced in Kirkpatrick with the winning run.

After that run scored, Gossmann struck out the side in the top of the seventh to seal the deal for VU.

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