Transylvania baseball finishes doubleheader with 8-3 victory to earn split with Berea

Willbur with a hit

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania baseball team had the final word on Wednesday night as the Pioneers took game two from the Berea College Mountaineers in a nonconference doubleheader at Marquard Field to forge a split for the day.

Berea took advantage of an error-laden inning to capture game one against Transylvania, 6-3 before the Pioneers unleashed their offense in game two to deliver an 8-3 victory in eight innings.

The Pioneers now stand at 5-6 overall after their twin bill with the Mountaineers while Berea sits at 5-10 for the season.

In Wednesday's opener, the Pioneers scored in the bottom of the first when Devyn Wilson-Cowan delivered an RBI single with two runners aboard to score Michael Blair for a 1-0 lead. Berea bounced back in the top half of the following inning with a two-run showing as starting pitcher Ashton Plymale yielded a two-run homer to left field.

Berea cemented its cushion in the top of the fourth inning as the visitors took advantage of three Pioneer errors to post three runs for a 5-1 lead. Berea continued to threaten but the Pioneers ended the inning with a double play.

Collin Johnson entered the game in relief for the Pioneers, working nearly five strong innings as he allowed just one earned run with four strikeouts against one walk and four hits. Johnson's four strikeouts matched his season-high.

Transylvania inched its way back into the contest as Wilson-Cowan delivered his second triple of the season and Taylor followed with an RBI single in the fourth to make the score 5-2 in favor of Berea. The Pioneers scored again in the bottom of the seventh to close within two runs when Chastain had an RBI single, his 10th straight game to open the season with a hit in scoring Riley Willbur for a 5-3 Berea advantage.

The Mountaineers pinned one more run upon the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning to complete the victory.

Each team notched seven hits in game one with Wilson-Cowan's 3-for-4 performance at the plate leading the Pioneers. Blair went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks while Austin Butts drew three walks in the game. Plymale picked up the loss for the Pioneers while Luke Wilson worked the final inning.

The Pioneers rebounded in the second game of the day as they made their charge in the third inning. Starting pitcher Robert Young enjoyed his finest outing in three appearances this season, fanning a season-high five hitters over four innings while allowing just one earned run to put the Pioneers in position to pounce early.

Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the third inning, Henry Molloy led off with a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Willbur followed with a base hit, moving Molloy to third. Wilson-Cowan and Chastain were both retired, but Willbur stole second to put two runners in scoring position.

Butts drove a hard shot to left field to score both Willbur and Molloy, giving Transylvania a 2-1 lead. The offense remained hot as Blair drove in Butts with a base hit, putting the Pioneers ahead for good with a 3-1 advantage.  

Though Berea pulled a run back in the top of the fourth, the three-run Transylvania outburst would serve as the genesis of an offensive wave that didn't stop for the rest of the day as the Pioneers scored at least a run in each of their final five innings.

An RBI single from Willbur scored Trey Medford in the bottom of the fourth to raise the Pioneers' lead back to two runs while the Pioneers increased their lead to 5-2 after a failed pickoff attempt that allowed Butts to come home from third.

The Pioneers scored twice more in the bottom of the sixth inning as Chastain and Butts each powered RBIs, pushing the Pioneers ahead, 7-2.

Berea scored once more in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk, but reliever Max Medley stranded three runners to limit any further damage. Transylvania added one final run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice bunt RBI from Molloy that scored Medford.

The Mountaineers' last rally in the top of the eighth saw two runners stranded as the game was cut short due to darkness.

Transylvania outhit Berea 11 to 3 in game two with Butts leading the way with a 2-for-3 game, two doubles, and three RBI. Willbur and Chastain each added two hits apiece while combining two more RBIs. Willbur bagged two of the Pios' five stolen bases in the nightcap while marking his sixth multi-hit game of the season while Chastain extended his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games.

Evan Burnett claimed the win for the Pioneers, the first of his career by working 2.2 innings and striking out three batters. The three Transylvania pitchers combined for nine strikeouts in game two.  

Transylvania returns to gameplay on Friday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. as the Pioneers host the Otterbein University Cardinals at Marquard Field.

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