ROMEOVILLE — The McKendree University dropped both ends of a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader Friday at Lewis University. The Bearcats lost the opener 7-1 before falling in a nail-biter in the nightcap, 7-6.
The Bearcats trailed 6-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning of game two, but rallied for five runs in the frame to tie the contest at 6-6. However, the host Flyers scratched out a run in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the sweep. McKendree slips to 11-7 overall and 6-4 in the GLVC. The Bearcats saw their six-game conference winning streak come to an end.
McKendree and Lewis will meet Saturday in another doubleheader that will close out the four-game weekend series. First pitch is set for noon, and both games can be heard on the Bearcat Sports Network at www.mckbearcats.com/listenlive.
Sophomore outfielder Kyle Rutledge (Bloomington, Ill./Normal) was the hitting star in game two for McKendree as he was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. Rutledge had three doubles, including a two-run two-bagger during the Bearcats' five-run seventh inning.
McKendree trailed 6-1 heading into the top half of the seventh inning. Junior catcher Tyler Collins was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Junior catcher Kolton King (Marion) then singled down the left-field line in a pinch-hitting appearance. Two batters later junior shortstop Tony Kossina (Belleville West) singled to left field to load the bases with one out.
Following a Lewis pitching change, Rutledge came to the plate and drilled a two-run double to left field, scoring Collins and King to trim the deficit to 6-3. Sophomore infielder Jake Kline followed with another two-run double to help McKendree pull within 6-5.
Sophomore infielder Jeff Tolliver (Salem) completed the rally as he delivered the third straight run-scoring double for the Bearcats, plating Kline with the tying run to knot the score at 6-6. But Lewis (12-3, 5-1 GLVC) used a rally of its own to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. Kyle Kapka ended the game with a sacrifice fly that scored Drew Buddle, who reached on a one-out double.
Freshman left-hander Sam Lidisky (Althoff Catholic) scattered seven hits and allowed three earned runs over the first six innings for McKendree. Junior right-hander Jon Trampe (Metro East Lutheran) was nicked for the loss.
Lewis left-hander Tom Helwich was dominant on the mound in the game one win over McKendree. Helwich improved to 4-1 on the year as he allowed just three hits over seven innings. He walked five batters but struck out eight to pick up the win.
McKendree posted its lone run of the contest in the sixth inning. Rutledge led off with a walk ahead of a double by Kline, which was the Bearcats' lone extra-base hit of the opener. Senior outfielder Pat Thole (Breese Central) drew a two-out walk, and Collins followed with another walk to force home Rutledge to trim the McKendree deficit to 4-1. The Flyers put the game out of reach with a run in the bottom of the sixth and two more tallies in the seventh inning.
SIUE rained out
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's scheduled game against Tennessee Tech has been postponed due to rain Friday.
The two teams originally delayed the start of the game, before finally canceling Friday night action.
The Cougars and Golden Eagles will wrap up the series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. They will play a nine-inning game followed by a seven-inning game.