Behind a strong performance from Mitchell Jones, the Kentucky Wesleyan College baseball team fight off elimination on Friday, defeating the No. 5 seed Bellarmine, 10-2. The Panthers will play in another elimination game on Saturday, with first pitch set for 2 pm CT. Kentucky Wesleyan will face the loser of the No. 7 seed Saint Joseph’s vs. No. 3 seed Quincy who play on Friday night at 7:30 pm CT.
Three singles from Cody Bridges, Josh Galvan and Adam Brown loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first.
Andrew Kirkland drove in Bridges with a single, and Jacob Snodgrass brought home Galvan with a sacrifice fly to put the Panthers ahead 2-0.
Jones was strong out of the gate, facing the minimum three batters in both the first and third inning while holding the Knights to one hit thru four innings.
A trio of scoreless innings for both sides kept the Panthers lead at two, but Kentucky Wesleyan broke out with three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to take a 9-0 lead.
Facing two on and one out in the top of the fifth, Galvan tucked a no-doubter just inside of the foul pole in right field. The three-run home run marked his team-leading eighth home run of the season.
In the top of the sixth, Nathan Stemle drove in two with a single to centerfield. Galvan drew a walk with the bases loaded, and Adam Brown was hit by a pitch to plate two more runs the Panthers.
Bellarmine got two back in the bottom of the sixth off of a one-run double and a sacrifice fly.
Snodgrass and Joseph Burke led off the bottom of the seventh with a pair of singles. Levi Tanner laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Stemle laced a single to right field, bringing home Snodgrass.
Jones had a stellar 6.2 innings, holding the Knights to two runs off of five hits while allowing two walks and striking out four. Alex Franzen closed out the final 2.1 innings, holding the Knights scoreless with just two hits.
Bridges led the offense, going three-for- five at the plate with three runs scored. Galvan, Brown, Kirkland, Snodgrass and Stemle each tabbed two hits. Galvan led the Panthers with four runs batted in while Stemle had three.
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Liz Wacienga, Director of Athletic Communications