Messiah holds off Bridgewater, 5-2

bridgewater eaglesMessiah College took the lead with two runs in the top of the sixth inning Saturday afternoon and held off the Bridgewater College Eagles in the late innings to take a 5-2 non-conference victory.

The Falcons got on the board first with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Josh Hayner doubled to lead off the inning and Colin Fry walked. Adam Janney then grounded into a double play that moved Hayner to third. Kyle Schoen came through with a clutch two-out single through the left side of the infield, scoring Hayner for a 1-0 Messiah lead.

Bridgewater answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth to go up 2-1. Jacob Talley was hit by a pitch and Kenner Berry followed with a double to right-center, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Both runners scored on Chris King‘s double to the gap in left-center for a 2-1 Eagles’ advantage.

The Falcons evened the score with a run in the fifth. Jimmy Kustra walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Austin Mellinger singled to put runners at the corners. Kustra scored on Dan Wiederrecht’s RBI-groundout to tie the score at 2-2.

Messiah took the lead with two runs in the sixth inning. Fry walked to lead off the inning and Adam Janney followed with a double. Kyle Jones then entered the game in relief of Eagles’ starter Tristan Daywalt. Fry scored on Schoen’s RBI groundout and Janney raced home on Kustra’s double just inside the right-field line as the Falcons opened up a 4-2 lead.

The Falcons loaded the bases in the seventh and Janney drove home a run with a single to left, making the score 5-2. Andrew Berry entered to pitch for the Eagles and worked out of the bases-loaded, one-out jam without allowing another run to keep the margin at 5-2.

The Eagles were shut out over the final five innings but had several opportunities to rally. Bridgewater left the sacks full in the sixth inning and stranded a pair of runners in the seventh. The Eagles had runners on in the eighth and ninth, but double-play balls ended each inning.

Ethan Hess worked 2.1 shutout innings to pick up the victory for the Falcons. Drew Betz recorded the save with 2.2 scoreless innings.

Daywalt took the loss for the Eagles, allowing four runs on six hits in five-plus innings on the mound.

The Eagles totaled eight hits with Brandon Poole and JT Creed leading the way with two hits each.

Bridgewater, now 2-3 on the season, is back in action Sunday when the Eagles host Juniata College for a doubleheader. The first game begins at noon.

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