7-run seventh inning lifts Pioneers baseball to victory against John Carroll

Big hit willbur

Lexington, Ky. – Five Pioneers recorded multiple hits and the Transylvania baseball team erased a late deficit to rout the John Carroll University Blue Streaks, 13-5 at Marquard field on Saturday night.

The win improves Transylvania's record to 6-7 on the season while John Carroll falls to 9-4 overall.

Riley Willbur led the Pioneers with four hits in five at-bats while Michael Blair, Austin Butts, and Henry Molloy each recorded three hits in the offensive explosion. Hudson Chastain went 2-for-5 at the plate, recording a hit for the 13th straight game to extend his overall hitting streak to 20 games dating back to last season.

Altogether, the Pioneers combined for 18 hits in the victory, their most as a team since tallying 19 in a 12-11 victory over Wabash on February 25, 2017.

The Pioneers sent Colton Hartig to the mound to start the game. The sophomore scattered six hits across 5.2 innings while striking out two batters. Evan Burnett picked up the win for Transylvania, allowing just one run in 2.1 innings of relief work.

Transylvania jumped out in front of John Carroll, 1-0 in the bottom of the third when Butts hammered a triple to right centerfield to score Chastain. The Pioneers added two more runs in the fourth, pushing their lead to 3-0.

The Blue Streaks answered back with a three-run shot over the fence in the top of the fifth that evened the score at 3-3. John Carroll scored again in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead over the Pioneers.

Transylvania took sudden control of the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Pioneers' bats exploded for seven runs on seven hits in the inning, giving Transylvania a 10-4 lead.

Willbur led off the inning with a single into centerfield and Blair and Chastain joined in with successive base hits to load the bases. Butts provided an explosive moment with a hard-hit single past first base to bring home Blair and Willbur, putting the Pioneers ahead at 5-4. John Carroll retired the next two Pioneer batters, but Isaac Taylor drew a walk to again load the bases.

Blaine Major came through for the Pioneers with a single up the middle to bring home Butts and Chastain for another powerful scoring outburst and a 7-4 Pioneer lead. Molloy then put the finishing touches upon the inning with a two-run base hit for a five-run Pioneer advantage. Willbur helped tack on one more run for size with a single into left field to score Molloy, turning a one-run deficit into a six-run lead.

Following a John Carroll run in the top of the eighth, Transylvania tacked on two additional runs in the bottom half of the frame via back-to-back doubles by Butts and Devyn Wilson-Cowan.

The Pioneers handed the ball to Max Medley to pitch the ninth inning. The freshman retired three straight John Carroll batters to secure the 13-5 victory for Transylvania.

The Pioneers are back in action tomorrow morning for a doubleheader that begins with an 11 a.m. first pitch. Up first, Transylvania will take on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans, followed by a 2 p.m. rematch with the John Carroll University Blue Streaks. Transylvania will honor its two seniors in  Taylor and Jason Pastoor in a Senior Day ceremony prior to the first pitch of game two.

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