The Central Christian College baseball team got another big midweek win, coming back from five runs down to defeat the Friends University Falcons 8-6.
The Falcons came out of the shoot and jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when the first batter hit a solo home run over the left field fence. The Tigers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, but the Falcons put up four in the top of the second to retake the lead and knocking out the Tigers' starting pitcher out of the game.
The Falcons opened up a five run lead with another run in the top of the fifth. After three scoreless innings, the Tiger offense got things going again with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, to cut the Falcon lead in half, 6-3. After a scoreless sixth, the Tigers added two more runs in the seventh to get to within one of the Falcons, 6-5. An inning later, the Tiger offense came through again. With runners on first and second base, and just one out, Nate Patterson showed bunt on an 0-1 count. As the pitcher released the 0-1 fastball, Patterson pulled out of the bunt, and took that fastball and launched it over the left centerfield fence, and put the Tigers up 8-6.
In the top of the ninth, Landon Stevens came on to pitch, looking for a three out save. He got the first Falcon hitter to strikeout swinging, then gave up back to back hits. After a wild pitch, in which the runners at first and second moved up 90 feet into scoring position, Stevens got the next hitter to also strikeout swinging. The Falcons were a single away from tying the game, but Stevens got the next hitter to hit a ground ball to Christopher Sanchez at second base. Sanchez bobbled the ball slightly, but recovered in time to throw out the runner at first base, sealing the win for the Tigers.
On the mound it was pitching by committee for the Tigers. They gave the ball to Bailey Jay to start the game. Jay lasted just an inning and two-thirds, giving up five runs on eight hits. Aydan Rolph was next, working the next two and a third. Rolph held the Falcons scoreless, giving up zero hits and only allowing two walks. Cameron Bonds came out of the bullpen in the fifth inning and got in two and a third innings of work. Despite five free passes, he only gave up one run on one hit.
With two outs in the seventh, and a runner on first base, Casey Southwick was called upon to keep the Falcons off the board. The first batter he faced hit a bullet down the first baseline that deflected off of Laramie Lumley at first base. The ball trickled into shallow right field. The Falcon hitter got a little greedy and tried to stretch a single into extra bases. The gamble didn't pay off. Sanchez collected the ball behind first base, and fired a bullet to Shomari Cann, who was covering second base. The ball arrived before the runner, and Cann applied the tag, ending the Falcon threat.
In the eighth, the Tigers brought Corbin Ramos out of the bull pen. The first Falcon hitter reached base on a throwing error by Cann at shortstop, the ball ended up out of play, advancing the runner to second base. The next hitter popped out to Sanchez in foul territory behind first base. Ramos then walked the next batter, putting runners at first and second with one out. In the next at bat, Ramos threw a wild pitch that advanced the runners into scoring position. Undaunted, Ramos struck out the next Falcon, but then walked the bases loaded in the next at bat. With the pressure on, Ramos calmly finished the inning with another strikeout.
Ramos entered the game with the Tigers trailing 6-5. In the next half inning, the Tigers rallied with three runs to take the lead 8-6. When Steven closed out the game in the ninth, Ramos ended up with win, the first of his collegiate career.
The Tiger offense scored eight runs on 11 hits, led by JD Noey and Patterson. Noey went 3-for-5, with a two singles, a double and two RBI. Patterson had the big bat for the Tigers. He finished with two hits in five trips both going for extra bases, scored two runs, and drove in three more. In addition to his three run homerun in the seventh inning, he also had a double in the bottom of the fifth, and then came around to score on a single by Cann.
With the win, the Tigers are now 5-32 on the year. They will be back on the diamond this weekend for a three game SAC series with 18 ranked Texas Wesleyan. The Tigers and Rams will play a doubleheader on Friday and then finish the series with a single nine on Saturday.