The Briar Cliff baseball team looked like it was going to pick up a win against a ranked opponent for the second day in a row, but the 21st-ranked squad from Central Methodist rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off winners. The Eagles had already won the first game of a twinbill 9-3 as game two’s final was 5-4 Sunday in Ashland, Mo.
The Charger bats took some time to get going on the day as the team was held scoreless through the first four innings of play. Darnell Prince got BC on the board with a leadoff homer in the top of the fifth, but by that point Central Methodist already had five runs. The Cliff chipped away with another run in the frame, but the Eagles responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Harrison Jestel suffered the loss in the opener, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings. Jestel struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Mason Schwellenbach was the winning pitcher with five innings pitched in which he allowed one earned run on four hits and one walk.
The Chargers recorded seven hits in the contest as Brady Harpenau was the only player for the Blue and Gold with mutliple hits, going 2-for-3.
In game two, the Chargers trailed 2-0 after one inning but responded immediately with back-to-back home runs in the second by Sawyer Olson and Prince. Olson came around to score again the next time through the order to give BC its first lead of the day as a two-run fourth inning had the Cliff leading 4-2. That store stuck until the seventh and final inning.
Central Methodist loaded the bases with no outs before groundouts to the third baseman and first baseman with both instances resulting in force outs at home. With two outs the Eagles hit another ground ball, but this time the slow roller was in a spot that the Chargers were unable to record an out and the game was tied. Z Westley followed that up with a fly ball to right field that landed just outside the reach of a diving Prince, allowing the winning run to cross home plate.
Kaiona Navas took the loss for BC, allowing one run on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Nicholas Cole started for the Cliff and in 6+ innings of work allowed four runs on seven hits and four walks. Cole struck out four in the game.
Luke Gray picked up the win in relief for Central Methodist. He faced two batters, striking out both.
Briar Cliff had six hits as a team in the loss. Prince was 2-for-3 and was the only hitter for the Blue and Gold with multiple hits in the contest.
Central Methodist moved to 10-3 with the two wins, while the pair of losses drops Briar Cliff to 3-5. The Chargers return to action on March 3 with a doubleheader against Presentation to kick off the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. BC is scheduled to play 10 games in seven days as part of the team’s Spring Break trip.