Walk-off home run lifts Pioneers over Maryville, 6-5

Walk-off home run lifts Pioneers over Maryville, 6-5
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior Pete Travisano's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning sealed the Pioneers' 6-5 victory over the Maryville Scotts Wednesday at Marquard Field.

The home run lifted Transylvania after Maryville's tying run in the top of the ninth. It appeared as though the Pioneers would be able to snag a win as relief pitcher Kameron Schwartz tossed two outs, with Garret Gresham striking out swinging and Hamilton out on a fielder's choice. The Scots had been given few opportunities in the three innings prior, going 1-2-3 since the seventh inning thanks to the combination relief pitching of Pioneers Bryce Crader, Jamie King, and Adam Boone.

But, with one Scot in scoring position, Maryville's Matt Jones found open space in right field, giving teammate Cameron Hamilton the tying 5-5 run, extending the Pioneers' appearance into the bottom of the frame.

It took only two pitches for designated hitter Travisano, who went 2-for-5 on the day, to nail the long ball, sealing the Transylvania 6-5 victory.

The early innings leaned the way of the Scots, as they knocked in their first run in the opening frame. Maryville lead-off hitter Gresham singled on a bunt and stole second, giving them a quick opportunity to make an early dent. A dropped ball error on Hunter Voshell advanced Gresham to third, priming him for his teammate Nick Dean. Dean singled in a gap through the left side, driving in Gresham and putting the Scots up 1-0.

Bats were quiet and base running few and far between until the bottom of the third when the Pioneers responded. Patience at the plate gave Zach Riney and Bynum back-to-back walks, but an unsuccessful move toward third trapped Bynum in no-mans-land between second and third, allowing the Scots to pick him off for the first out. With Bynum in scoring position on second, Voshell redeemed his earlier error by shooting a double, tying up the game at 1-1.

An uneventful fourth led into a lively fifth, as the Scots came out swinging, notching a double and two singles, driving in two runs and snagging the lead, 3-2. A third single advanced a runner to third before the Pioneers' could notch the first out. The Scot's McDermott grounded out, allowing another Scot to cross home and extending the Maryville advantage to 4-2 before the end of the inning.

Two early outs made the bottom of the fifth look unlikely for a Pioneer rally, as only Bynum remained on base after singling to right center. With a crafty move, Bynum stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Maryville's Da Clifford. First baseman Kameron Mason came through, singling up a gap in the middle to take back one of the Maryville runs and cut the deficit to one, 4-3.

Pioneer pitcher Bryce Crader went 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth, giving way to another RBI in the bottom of the sixth off the bat of leftfielder Hunter Jones. Jones' single scored Simpson who advance on a steal and passed ball, tying up the contest at 4 apiece.

Transylvania notched the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh, despite two outs on the board. An error by Maryville gave the Pioneers the go-ahead runner, Travisano, a place on first. After Liggett walked, advancing Travisano, right fielder Trey Simpson came into play. Simpson doubled to right center, scoring Travisano and recording what the team thought could be the winning run, until the top of the ninth inning.

Pioneers' catcher Sam Liggett and left fielder Hunter Jones recorded big days, going 2-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively, at the plate. Five different Pioneers recorded RBIs, while aggressive base running also aided the Pioneer effort, as the team notched three stolen bases thanks to the wheels of Bynum, Simpson and Jones.

Freshman Braden Johnson received Wednesday's start, but reliever Schwartz notched the win, his first of the 2014 campaign.

Transylvania takes the mound on Friday, opening the Heartland Conference season in a three-game series against Anderson (Ind.) at 4 p.m.