Mount St. Joseph hands Pioneers first conference road loss

Mount St. Joseph hands Pioneers first conference road loss
CINCINNATI, Ohio— The Pioneers dropped their first conference game of the season on the road, falling to Mount St. Joseph, 11-6 Tuesday at Marge Schott Stadium.

The Lions (11-11, 6-5 HCAC) dropped 18 hits, 16 of which were singles. Meanwhile, Transylvania, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's hit leader was held to seven hits.  

The Pioneer offense struggled in the first two innings of play, as all six Pioneers batters were retired in order before Transylvania took a 2-1 lead in the third, after the Lions plated one in the bottom of the first.

A single from Hunter Jones to right field got the offense going in the inning. Two runners were on board for the Pioneers after Zach Riney reached on an error by the first baseman. Trey Simpson followed with a single to center, driving in the first run of the game for Transylvania. Riney also scored in the inning on a single from Kamerson Mason giving the Pioneers a 2-1 advantage.

Pete Travisano kept the momentum in the visitor's dugout drawing a walk to start the fourth after the Lions were scoreless in the third. Travisano then swiped second and moved to third on a fly ball off the bat of Kody Ross. A throwing error on the play gave the Pioneers a 3-1 lead as Travisano crossed the plate. With two outs, the offense could not convert, leaving the bases loaded to end the inning.

The Pioneers (13-12, 7-4 HCAC) held a 3-1 lead until the bottom of the fourth when the Lions turned seven hits into six runs to jump in front 7-3.

The Lions were able to put the ball just out of the hands of Transylvania's defenders, as the first four batters of the inning singled. With the bases loaded and no outs, the Lions dropped three more singles into play helping them to five more runs in the inning.

Mount St. Joseph tacked on two more in the fifth, extending its lead to 9-3 before the Pioneers came to the plate in the eighth. Sam Liggett was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning for Transylvania and scored on a grounder from Nick Edwards, closing the lead to 9-4 with one inning remaining.

A two-run eighth for the Lions made the comeback attempt for the Pioneers that much more difficult as they came to the plate in the ninth as they trailed 11-4.

Walks by Riney and Zach Bynum got some momentum for the Pioneers to start the inning. Back-to-back outs threatened the rally but Riney and Bynum were in scoring position. Travisano put one in play and a bobbled ball by the shortstop gave the Pioneers their fifth run of the game.  Liggett sent a single to first base which scored Bynum for the final run for Transylvania.

Mason went 2-for-4 from the plate with one RBI. Simpson and Liggett also finished with one RBI each.

The Pioneers travel to take on conference foe, Bluffton University, for a three-game series this weekend which includes one game Friday and a Saturday double-header. First pitch is set for 4:15 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.