05/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/10/2019 21:45
Seven-seed Bellarmine piled up a staggering 21 hits, scoring in all but one inning, and sophomore reliever made sure as the game wore on the run production was one-sided as the Knights rolled to a 14-7 victory over six-seed Southern Indiana at US Baseball Park.
Bellarmine (31-19) captured its sixth straight win and has started the GLVC Tournament 2-0 for the first time since 2013, the last time the Knights earned the title. With the win over USI (30-20), Bellarmine has won at least two games in the conference tournament for the second straight season.
The Knights will play at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, meeting the winner between Drury and the Illinois Springfield/Quincy loser. That game is slated for 1:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Friday's contest had the makings of a slugfest as Bellarmine scored four runs in the first and Southern Indiana answered with five. However, the consistent scoring only came from the Knights after the first frame. The Screaming Eagles only scored two more runs following the opening inning - one in the second and another in the fifth - while Bellarmine scored at least one run in every stanza except the fourth.
Senior left-hander overcame a shaky beginning with scoreless innings in the third and fourth. Pfaadt (3-3), who was at his best last year in the postseason, entered to start the fifth and proceeded to toss 4.0 innings while allowing one earned run on two hits with five strikeouts. The outing stabilized the Knights, whose offense just kept building a bigger cushion in finishing a single hit shy of a season high. Junior left-hander fired a scoreless ninth to seal it.
Higgins clubbed a pair of homers. The first, a solo shot in the third, gave Bellarmine the lead for good at 7-6. Sophomore second baseman and sophomore third baseman stroked RBI doubles in the fifth to push the lead to 9-6.
Bellarmine maintained steady run production for the remainder of the game. Freshman left fielder lofted a sacrifice fly in the sixth, senior right fielder laced an RBI single in the seventh and Phillips cracked a sac fly to the wall in the eighth.
Also in the eighth, Higgins tattooed his second homer of the game, and Neeley put the finishing touch on the gargantuan offensive effort by swatting a homer in the ninth. Higgins boosted his home run total to 13 while Neeley increased his to 14.
Every player in the Knights' lineup drove in at least one run. Wiley reached base in all six of his plate appearances, going 4 for 4 with two walks. Rouse also had a four-hit game that included two doubles and two RBIs. Junior catcher tallied three hits and three RBIs, Higgins had three hits and four runs scored and Neeley, Mulcahy and sophomore shortstop delivered two hits apiece.
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