Baseball Splits Home Finale

Ravens take two from HAAC Western Division leader Avila University

  • Monday, April 23, 2012

The Raven baseball team entered the weekend needing to win six of their last eight games to have a chance to score a berth into the 2012 HAAC Baseball Postseason Tournament.

Benedictine earned two splits over the weekend. Saturday, the Ravens fell to Avila in the opening game of the series 7-5 before rallying for the split with a 15-7 win in game two. Sunday, the Ravens scored a 1-0 win in game three and then dropped the series finale 11-3.

The Ravens record now stands at 14-25 overall and 9-13 in HAAC play. The Ravens wrap up the 2012 regular season next Friday and Saturday with a four-game series against HAAC western division No. 2 MNU in Olathe.

In the series opener, the Ravens scored five runs in the seventh to close with in two runs of Avila but couldn't complete the come back.

Bryan Poland (Sr., Bothel, Wash.) took to the hill at the Ballpark at Benedictine one last time in game one. He threw his sixth complete game of the season in the loss. Poland gave up four earned runs off eight hits while striking out eight.

At the plate, the Ravens went 10 for 30. Shortstop Josh Piper (Sr., McPherson) went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and a two-run home run that ignited the Ravens rally in the seventh.

Third baseman Matt Macias (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) and center fielder Ben Loughman (Soph., Lenexa) each added a double while Loughman and first baseman Sean O'Grady (Jr., San Jose, Calif.) each added an RBI.

In game two of the series, the Ravens held on to their late-game momentum to jump on Avila starting pitcher Nathan Bacon early.

Bacon gave up nine runs off seven hits in two innings as the Ravens broke the game open with an eight-run third inning.

With and sizable cushion, Benedictine's game two starter Adam Burns (Fr., Overland Park) limited Avila to just one run threw four innings. Burns ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up five runs before he was relieved by Michael Rowland (Sr., Kansas City, Mo.) Rowland threw the final two and one-third innings to preserve the win for Burns.

At the plate, the Ravens went 10 for 26, driving in 12 of their 15 runs.

Only two of the Ravens 10 hits were for extra bases, as Piper and second baseman Ben Raun (Soph., Lincoln, Neb.) each recorded a double. Right fielder Ryan Lengyel (Sr., Euless, Texas) recorded three RBIs while Piper rounded out his day with a three RBI effort. Designated hitter Aaron Molinaro (Jr., Lincoln, Neb.) added a 2 for 2 effort at the plate with three runs scored.

On Sunday, the Ravens sent John Huber (Jr., Olathe) to the hill to face off with Avila No. 1 Chris Thomas.

Thomas threw a two-hitter and gave up one earned run but was out-dueled by Huber.

Huber threw a complete-game, six hitter and held Avila scoreless over his seven innings of work to earn the win.

Left fielder Gordan Weliver (Jr., Englewood, Colo.) drove in the Ravens lone run, which was scored by Piper in the second inning.

In the series finale, the Ravens sent Lukas Leeper (Sr., Rossville) to the hill. Leeper pitched an inning and one-third before he was relieved by Adam Pink (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.). Leeper gave up six runs off five hits to suffer the loss.

Pink threw four and two-thirds innings, giving up just one earned run off seven hits.

At the plate, the Ravens couldn't figure out Avila starting pitcher Jason Paul. Paul took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Ravens were finally able to record a hit.

A double by Piper, a single by Raun and a double by Weliver not only broke up the no-hitter, it also ended the shutout bid as the Ravens scored three runs in the seventh.

Benedictine heads to Olathe for a four-game series starting at 1 p.m. Friday. The Ravens need to sweep the series over MNU to keep their chances of earning a trip to St. Joseph, Mo., for the postseason tournament starting on May 2.