BABSON PARK, Fla. -- The No. 3 Bellevue University baseball team split a pair of games with host Webber International University on Saturday after on the first day of their Florida trip. BU snapped a three-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the Warriors in game one of Saturday's double-header but lost game two by a final score of 7-5.
The Bruins now own a 7-5 overall record following the split. They play in Daytona Beach, Fla. tomorrow at Embry-Riddle at 2 p.m.
Game One: Bellevue 4, Webber International 3
BU used a two-out error to overcome a 3-2 seventh inning deficit for a 4-3 victory in their first game of the day. Shortstop Diego Iribarren sent a ball to left that was dropped and allowed both pinch-runner Brandon Salmon and left fielder Derik Bontempo to score on the error.
Catcher Jake Browne led off the seventh with a walk and Salmon advancing to second on a sac bunt from third baseman Matt Evans. Right fielder Joe Moran moved Salmon over to third with a ground ball. That brought up Bontempo who found his way on after being hit by a pitch.
Looking to spark their offense, BU moved Browne – who had been leading the team with a .459 on-base percentage – to the leadoff spot and he responded by reaching base in three of four plate appearances with a pair of walks and a single.
The move seemed to pay off as Bellevue scored nine runs in 14 innings on the day after totaling just five in last weekend's three-game series against Oklahoma Wesleyan. Taking advantage of the courtesy runner rule, Salmon stole a base and scored a run while running for Browne.
Bellevue opened the scoring in the top of the fourth when DH Alec Chaney singled home Iribarren but their 1-0 wouldn't last long.
WIU responded with two runs in the home half courtesy of a Marcus Begg home run and an RBI-double by Jesse Coleman.
The Warriors held their lead a little longer but the scale leveled when second baseman Blake Macdonald launched a solo home run – his first of the year – leading off the sixth inning to tie the game 2-2.
Webber again responded with a run in the next half inning when Manny Rodriquez singled up the middle to plate the go-ahead run.
Ben McKendall (W, 3-0) picked up the win on the mound with a quality start over six innings. The right-hander struck out six batters and held Webber to three runs on eight hits. Max Dwyer (Save, 2) surrendered a one-out single but stranded pinch-runner Garrett Martin at third to end the game and preserve the BU victory.
Anthony Hunter (L, 2-1) was tagged with the loss for the Warriors despite a solid effort. He threw all seven innings and struck out nine. He allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks.
Game Two: Webber International 7, Bellevue 5
A six-run fourth inning by Webber International proved to be too much for Bellevue to overcome as the Warriors earned a split with a 7-5 win over BU in the nightcap.
Bellevue, for the second game in a row, got on the board first with a pair of fourth inning runs. Shortstop Diego Iribarren got the offense started with a sac fly to plate left fielder Derik Bontempo before center fielder Brandon Salmon came through with an RBI single scoring DH Alex Chaney.
BU couldn't hold the lead as Webber sent 10 batters to the plate in the home half of the fourth, scoring runs on six hits while they were aided in their offensive endeavors by a pair of Bruin errors and a wild pitch.
Sjaghbar Martis drove in a run for the Warriors in the bottom of the sixth to stretch the WIU lead to 7-4.
With runners on second on third and two out in the seventh inning, Iribarren singled to right to drive in Macdonald and put the tying run – in the form of himself – on base but Jesse Coleman (Save, 1) came on to record the final out and earn the save.
Dylan Thorp (L, 0-1) suffered the loss on the hill following 3.1 innings of work. He was charged with allowing five runs on six hits and three walks.
Juan Terron (W, 4-0) worked 5.2 innings allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out six to earn the win.