Win over SEMO elevates baseball over .500


Sophomore infielder Riley Hawthorne catches a pop-fly against the SEMO Redhawks on Tuesday, April 4. Photo by Rebeca Mertins Chiodini/The News.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

An 11-8 home win over SEMO on Tuesday, April 4, put the Murray State baseball team above the .500 win percentage mark for the season.

It was a back-and-forth battle between the Racers and the Redhawks at Johnny Reagen Field, with the lead changing three times over the nine-inning contest.

The teams used a combined 14 pitchers throughout the game, with a combined 22 strikeouts and 13 walks across 93 at-bats in the game.

Senior outfielder Brett Graber got the scoring started in the top of the first inning with a single to bring home senior outfielder Jevon Mason to put SEMO up 1-0.

The Racers answered in the bottom of the first with a double from graduate first baseman Brennan McCullough that brought senior infielder Riley Hawthorne around to score.

The scoring didn’t stop there for the Racers as the very next batter, junior infielder Drew Vogel, hit a sacrifice flyout that allowed sophomore outfielder Dustin Mercer to tag up and score from third base.

Another run was added on two batters later, as junior catcher Taylor Howell hit a single that brought McCullough home, making it 3-1 Racers after the first inning.

Despite seven different players reaching base across the second and third innings, the score remained unchanged until the top of the fourth.

With a ground out from junior utility player Chance Resetich to McCullough, junior catcher Yanluis Ortiz dashed home from third base to add another run for the Redhawks.

Junior infielder Lincoln Andrews added on another run for the Redhawks with a single up the middle, bringing junior outfielder Josh Cameron home to tie the game at three runs apiece.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Racers added on two more runs with a single from Mercer that brought senior outfielder Seth Gardner across the plate, then a walk by junior infielder Jacob Pennington brought in Hawthorne. Heading into the fifth inning, the Racers led 5-3.

The top of the fifth inning saw the lead change, though, as Resetich hit a bases-loaded triple to bring three players home and put the Redhawks up 6-5.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Racers took the lead back with a single from Pennington that allowed both Mercer and Vogel to score.

Another single from Hawthorne in the bottom of the seventh inning allowed for two more Murray State runs, extending the lead to three runs for the Racers.

The bottom of the eighth inning brought two more runs for the Racers as freshman utility player Gunnar Bingham tripled to right field, bringing two runners home to put the Racers up 11-6 as they headed into the last inning.

The Redhawks had to attempt the comeback in the top of the ninth, and with three runners on base, they managed to get a pair of runs, thanks to wild pitches from the Racers.

But that was all they could gather as Cameron grounded out to end the game. The Racers defeated the Redhawks 11-8.

Hawthorns led the Racers at the plate, going 3-4 in the game with two RBIs and a walk. Seven other Racers had a hit in the game. Murray State drew eight walks while striking out 10 times.

Graber and Andrews combined for six of the Redhawks’ 11 hits. SEMO struck out 12 times as a team and drew five walks.

The Racers improve to 15-14 on the season after winning five of their last six games. The game against SEMO was nonconference, so the Racers’ conference record remains at 3-3, and they sit at fifth place in the Valley.

Murray State hosts Valley opponent Illinois-Chicago for a three-game series next, with game one set for 5 p.m. on Friday, April 7.


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