It was an impressive weekend for Flyers baseball as our team swept the weekend 11-0, 6-5 and 8-1 against the No. 1 team in the GLVC: Quincy.
Needing this win to give them a fighting chance for a spot in the upcoming GLVC tournament, the men have now put themselves in a position to advance to the conference tournament.
The team knew this weekend was going to be tough from the start. “Going into this weekend, we knew we were facing a good team with really good pitching,” said junior Ryan Schefske. “We knew that we were fighting for a spot in playoffs and had to play our best baseball. If we played our game and competed for all nine innings, the results would take care of themselves.”
The Flyers did just that, scoring 11 runs off of Quincy in the seven-inning game and only giving up two hits. Schefske has been a key player for the Flyers all season and made sure to do his part in the first game with five at bats, one run scored, one RBI and three hits. His first hit, a single, brought senior Connor Rutherford home to score the first run of the game on Saturday.
The second game on Saturday was a bit closer of a result with Quincy coming back in the ninth to scorethree runs, almost tying up the series. Lewis got the lead early in the third inning when freshman Dalton Crowder hit a leadoff home run to right field. They kept Quincy at bay until the fifth inning when the Hawks scored their first two runs off of a two-run homer, but Lewis had brought in five runs that inning as well to make the score 6-2 overall.
The score stayed 6-2 until the ninth, when Quincy brought in three more runs because of an error and single to center field. The Hawks were all set up to tie the game with their tying run on third base when Quincy hit a ground ball to shortstop to end their comeback. Lewis outhit Quincy 8-7 in the second game on Saturday, which gave them momentum into the Sunday game.
On Sunday, Lewis completed its series sweep with an 8-1 win over Quincy. The Flyers, like in both Saturday games, stole the lead first with a run in the third and fifth innings to make the game 2-0. Quincy scored their single run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly to center with runners on second and third with only one out. Junior Anthony Rios added another run for the Flyers in the top of the eighth to make the game 3-1, but Quincy came back bases loaded at the bottom of the eighth to try and gain some momentum. Luckily, sophomore pitcher Jake Lotz was able ground Quincy’s batter, which turned into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. Lewis sealed the win with a home run from senior Connor Rutherford and grand slam from senior Matt McCauley to end the game 8-1 Flyers.
Overall, this game came down to the pitching. Senior Pete Hamot pitched the first game holding Quincy to only two hits and no runs. Senior Blake Marks was able to get theFlyers out of a bases loaded, no out mess in the bottom of the first in Game 2 on Saturday to keep the game scoreless early on. Senior Brad Littleton started the Sunday game, holding Quincy to only one run in the sixth. With the addition of relief pitchers like Lotz and Verdun, Lewis out-pitched Quincy this weekend and did what they needed to offensively to support the great effort that came from behind the mound.
“Our starting pitching has been our greatest strength all season,” said Schefske. “Pete, Blake and Brad have pitched well all year and continued to do so this weekend. They shut down their hitters all weekend and gave the hitters the opportunity to win games. Going into the weekend, we knew that the games would be pitching battles and our pitchers needed to limit runs scored. They did just that and our offense hit the ball very well and scored enough runs to win all three games.”
The weekend sweep kept Lewis alive in their march to postseason. Thier last regular season GLVC match against Truman State will determine if they advance to the conference tournament on Thursday, May 9.