Senior designated hitter Bryce Bisenius delivered a two-run walk off homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Wayne State College an 8-6 victory over Newman (Kan.) in the season opener for both teams at the Alpine Fresh 4 HIM Baseball Classic in Cleburne, Texas.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start scoring single runs in the first and second innings for a 2-0 lead.
Andrew Hanson’s RBI double down the left field line scored Alex Logelin (double) with the first run of the season while in the second senior catcher Jake Lemar doubled to open the inning and later scored on a passed ball.
Newman rallied in the top of the fourth inning, scoring five unearned runs, to take a 5-2 lead. The Jets took advantage of a Wildcat error along with two walks and a hit batter plus two hits to score their five runs.
WSC countered in the bottom of the fourth scoring two runs to cut the Newman lead to 5-4. Peyton Barnes produced a two-run double down the left field to bring home CJ Neuman (walk) and Jake Lemar (fielder’s choice).
The Wildcats regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Brendan Madsen singled and later scored on a Newman throwing error to tie the game at 5-5.
WSC took a 6-5 lead later in the inning on a sacrifice bunt from Chris Cornish that scored Hanson, who singled earlier in the inning.
Newman evened the score at 6-6 with a solo run in the top of the ninth inning to set up the dramatic finish for the Wildcats.
After Logelin opened the frame with a ground out, Hanson laced a double down the left field and Bisenius then stepped to the plate and blasted a homer over the right center field fence to give the Wildcats a thrilling 8-6 win.
Wayne State held an 11-9 advantage in hits over Newman in the contest. Hanson led the way for the Wildcats going 3 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Lemar went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. Bisenius added a two-run homer while Barnes had a double and two RBI and Logelin doubled.
The winning pitcher for the Wildcats was sophomore reliever Andrew Staebell, who worked the ninth inning and was charged with two hits and one run with two strikeouts.
Senior Aidan Breedlove started the game on the hill and worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Four other Wildcats worked relief in the game – Ryan Obrecht, Logan Walters, Ryan Petersen and Lawson Zenner.
The Wildcats will play two games Saturday at the Alpine Fresh 4 HIM Classic in Texas, facing Southern Arkansas at 4:30 p.m. and Oklahoma Panhandle State at 8 p.m.