Lexington, Ky. - Michael Blair went 5-for-8 with three doubles as the Transylvania baseball team split a pair of games with the Hanover College Panthers at Marquard Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Panthers thwarted a late-game comeback attempt by the Pioneers in game one to escape with a 10-9 victory. But the Pioneers prevailed in dramatic fashion to end the evening when Isaac Taylor delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth of game two with an identical 10-9 score in their favor.
Transylvania is now 14-20 this season with a 7-7 mark in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play while Hanover moves 12-16 and 4-8 in league play.
Hanover took control of game one early and built their lead up to 8-1 midway through the seventh inning. However, the Pioneers' bats came to life in the bottom half of the frame as Transylvania scored five runs on four hits, cutting the Panthers' lead to 8-6.
After Hanover tacked on another two runs in the top of the eighth, Transylvania responded with a two-run single by Riley Willbur to slice Hanover's lead to 10-8.
Down to their last out, the Pioneers cut the Hanover lead to just one run with a TJ Keck RBI single. Then, with the go-ahead run aboard, Billy Edwards blasted a shot towards the right field fence. However, the Hanover right fielder made a spectacular catch to preserve the 10-9 victory for the Panthers.
Robert Young was charged with the loss in game one as his record fell to 0-2. The junior worked four innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs while recording three strikeouts.
Trailing the Panthers by two runs early in game two, the Pioneers cut into the lead with an RBI single from Trey Medford and a Willbur run that came via a Keck sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers evened the score at 3-3 in the third when Willbur blistered a one-run double down the right-field line.
The Panthers came roaring back to score seven runs over the next five innings, taking a two-run lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Trailing the Panthers 9-7, the Pioneers rallied to tie the game; Hudson Chastain led off the inning with a single, followed by another single from Blair, and a walk from Willbur to load the bases. Medford was then hit by a pitch for the first run of the bottom half of the frame, and Keck drew a walk to tie the game at 9-9.
With the bases still loaded, Taylor laid down a picture-perfect bunt that scored Wilbur to seal the 10-9 victory for Transylvania.
Max Medley picked up the victory after allowing two hits and just one run over two innings in a relief role. The freshman tallied two strikeouts while recording the final six outs for Transylvania.
The Pioneers will next be in action on Saturday, April 27 as they take on the Manchester University Spartans in an HCAC doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m. at Gratz Field.
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