Posted: Mar 22, 2014
Heading into the top of the ninth, relief pitcher Matt Birkenhauer mowed down his opponents, striking out three of the four batters faced to quickly cap the inning, leaving the door open for the Pioneers in the bottom of the ninth with the top of the order approaching.
Lead-off hitter Zach Bynum's patience at the plate awarded him a walk, bringing teammate Hunter Jones up to bat. Jones notched a nearly perfect sacrifice bunt, easily advancing Bynum into scoring position at second base. In an unusual move, the Ravens intentionally walked third baseman Nick Edwards, who was 0-and-3 in the contest, loading the bases to bring Mason to the plate.
Living up to his 2-for-6, two run and four RBI day, Mason nailed a single down the left-field line, bringing Bynum around third, diving headfirst into home plate to capture the victory, 11-10.
It was a hit parade in the first eight frames, with the Ravens and Pioneers recording 14 and 13 hits, respectively. The contest leaned in favor of Anderson through the third inning, as the Ravens went on a scoring spree, knocking in six runs without any response from the Pioneer offense.
It wasn't until the third that Transylvania lit up the lights on the board thanks to Bynum whose double notched the first RBI of the day, scoring teammate Zach Riney. Two batters later, Mason snagged his first RBI and the team's second run by reaching on a fielder's choice and scoring Byum, the lead runner, from third, putting them within four, 6-2.
A quiet fourth led to Anderson extending the cushion to five in the fifth, 7-2. While the first frames belonged to the Ravens, it fifth, sixth and seventh was dominated by the Pioneers.
Transylvania recorded an impressive seven-straight unanswered runs across the following three innings off the bats of Mason, Pete Travisano, Trey Simpson and Hunter Jones, with the Ravens bats were practically silenced thanks to clutch pitching from freshman Braden Johnson.
The offensive rally snagged Transylvania a two-run advantage, 9-7, heading into the top of the eighth. With their win theatened, the Ravens responded. Anderson managed to run in three off a single and a two-run long ball from Anderson's Craft, overtaking the Pioneers again by one, 10-9, before grounding out to end the inning. Travisano walked to start out the inning.
Worried about the runner, Anderson's pitcher Nunez shot a pitch to first base in a pickoff attempt, but missed the first baseman, sending the ball out into right field, advancing Travisano to third base. It would be senior catcher Sam Liggett's groundout that would send in the tying run, 10-10.
Designated hitter Travisano recorded a strong 1-for-3, two run, two RBI day for the Pioneers, as did right fielder Simpon, goign 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Birkenhauer notched his first win of the season with the team victory in game one.
Transylvania would struggle in game two, falling 12-4, snagging 11 hits but leaving 14 on base. Pioneer pitching would give up a staggering 11 walks to the Ravens between six different Transylvania pitchers.
The Pioneers face Thomas More at home on March 25, with first pitch slated at 4 p.m.