Trailblazers drop pitchers’ duel at Wabash Valley

  1. CARMEL, Ill. – The Vincennes University baseball team hit the field for the first time in a full week Friday afternoon, heading down to nearby Wabash Valley College for a single nine-inning game.

The Blazers found themselves in another close ballgame with a tough NJCAA Division I program and unfortunately came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 final score.

The VU offense was held in check by some really good pitching by the Warriors, with VU getting their first base runner in the third on a walk by sophomore Carter Whitehead (Huntingburg, Ind.).

Wabash Valley would break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the 3rd before VU got into the hit column for the first time in the top of the fourth after a walk by sophomore Kade Hinton (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and a single by sophomore Blake Heyerly (Monroe, Ind.).

The Warriors would add to their lead in the sixth, which VU again responded back with some action on the bases in the seventh after a leadoff single by Blake Heyerly, his second hit of the game.

Heyerly was followed by a four-pitch walk by sophomore Brandon Juarez (Evansville, Ind.) and sophomore Jace Parnin (Fort Wayne, Ind.) reaching on a bunt fielder’s choice.

Vincennes got another runner on in the eighth after freshman Bradyn Douglas (Frankton, Ind.) reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a balk, but was unable to come around to score.

The Trailblazers were held off the scoreboard as the Warriors pitching staff closed out the 2-0 victory.

“Tough way to get going again,” VU Head Baseball Coach Chris Barney said. “Ran out against probably the best pitcher we’ve seen all year, who is going to South Carolina next year. He did his job and we obviously struggled against him.”

“But we ran nine guys out on the mound,” Barney added. “We had a plan to keep everybody fresh for the upcoming Conference series at Heartland Monday and Tuesday. So we ran nine guys out there trying to get them ready and back on the dirt and all nine of them did a great job. We had one mistake with a pickoff play at third base or we would have been out of that inning. But those guys came in and threw strikes and battled. They had command and had a feel for where they wanted to throw the baseball. So you tip your hat and that’s the thing that we take out of this.”

“We’ve got to do a better job in the couple of innings when we had opportunities to score,” Barney said. “Somebody has to step up with a big hit and we’ve just got to continue to work on that.”

VU looked to get some arms back in action on the mound and opted to throw nine different pitchers during Friday’s game.

Sophomore Josh McCormick (Indianapolis, Ind.) got the start on the mound and was able to get through the first inning allowing one hit and striking out one.

The Trailblazers got a clean second inning out of freshman Alex Wandersee (Centerville, Ind.), including a strikeout, before turning it over to sophomore Max Lines (Indianapolis, Ind.) in the third.

Lines would get through the inning after allowing two hits and one unearned run while also picking up a strikeout.

Freshman Colton Okes (Evansville, Ind.) was able to work himself out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth before freshman JD Bowser (Mt. Carmel, Ill.) took over in the fifth and struck out a pair.