The Bellarmine Knights baseball team saw one of the program’s all-time best seasons come to an end today at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, falling 10-2 to Kentucky Wesleyan in an elimination game played at Gerace Stadium on the campus of Northwood University.
The Knights conclude the 2017 campaign with a 34-21 record while making the NCAA field for the seventh time in school history. The 34 wins rank as the fourth most in a single season with the 2008, 1980 and 1979 teams all racking up 36 victories.
In today’s game, the Panthers (28-23) jumped out to an early lead, plating two runs in the top of the first inning on four base hits and a sacrifice fly. The Great Midwest Athletic Conference champions added three more runs in the top of the fifth as catcher Josh Galvan connected for a 3-run homer.
The next inning, Bellarmine saw its deficit grow to 9-0 as Kentucky Wesleyan tacked on four more runs before the Knights escaped the disastrous inning with an inning-ending double play.
Meanwhile, the Knights managed just two hits over the first five innings off Panther starting pitcher Mitchell Jones.
Bellarmine finally hit the scoring column in the bottom sixth. Alex Phillips walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Zac Wiley then took a 2-2 delivery from Jones and drilled a double to right center to drive in Phillips. Wiley took third base on a passed ball and scored after Griffin Neuer lifted a deep fly ball to left.
The Knights had scoring opportunities in both the seventh and ninth innings but couldn’t push across another run while Panthers added a lone run in the seventh to make the final score 10-2.
Brady Pfaadt, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and stayed in to play first base, turned in a 2-for-2 day at the plate to lead the Knights offensively. Shortstop Drew Greenwood also collected two base knocks for Bellarmine, which got outhit 14-7.
Hunter Spencer started on the mound for the Knights and was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs in five innings. Jones went six and two-thirds for KWC to pick up the win.
Today’s game marked the final game in a Bellarmine uniform for eight seniors: Christopher Allen, Michael Belliveau, Will Birch, Griffin Caron, Ben Carson, Yancey Pritchett, Zach Williams, and Mason Womack.
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