March 2, 2008
Yellowjackets’ Bats Come Alive in 8-5 Victory Over Madonna
CHANDLER, Ariz. – A season-high 10 hits and eight runs propelled the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets to an 8-5 victory over Madonna University Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Yellowjackets improve to 2-3 and 1-0 in the RussMatt Invitational, while Madonna falls to 3-2 on the year.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, we gutted it out and capitalized on their mistakes,” head coach Chris Brown said. “It was great to get the week off to a good start here.”
Madonna had a scoring chance in the bottom of the first inning as the Crusaders led off the game with a single and followed with a walk, but Yellowjacket hurler Jeremy Knowles got out of the jam with a pair of lineouts.
Three walks and a balk loaded the bases for the Yellowjackets in the top of the second. A RBI single by Nick Rupert scored the first run of the game. Moments later, Cole Pryor lined a single to center field for two RBI. Pryor came around to score on the play as the Crusaders had two fielding errors giving the Yellowjackets a 5-0 lead.
Madonna scratched out a run in the bottom of the second as the Yellowjackets returned the favor with two errors and fielder’s choice scored the run making the score 5-1 in favor of MSUB. The Crusaders got another run in the fifth courtesy of a fielding error by Pryor for a 5-2 score.
The Yellowjackets led off the seventh with a double by Pryor. Madonna made a pitching change as Carl McDevitt relieved Richard Linquist. Jonathan Schlender roped a ball to left field, scoring Pryor for a 6-2 score. Tyler Nelson roped a two RBI double to left field for his second hit of the game, giving the Jackets an 8-2 lead.
Madonna added three runs in the seventh. The Crusaders had a RBI single by Ryan Morrow, cutting the deficit to 8-3. After a walk to Levi Cheshire, Yellowjacket head coach Chris Brown made a call to the bullpen for Brian Howe. Madonna loaded the bases scoring two more runs cutting the deficit to 8-5.
Knowles went six and one third innings, allowing five hits, five runs – three earned, two walks and four strikeouts.
“Jeremy had a good first outing of the year, he battled and got pretty deep in the game with five quality innings,” Brown said.
The Jackets loaded the bases in the top of the eighth inning with two walks a sacrifice bunt and a hit batsmen but were unable to get anything across.
The Crusaders put two men on in the bottom of the eighth, but with two outs Yellowjacket catcher Steve Larson threw a perfect ball to first baseman Seth Moir, picking off Cheshire to end the inning and stop a possible scoring threat.
Cody Clark came in for the ninth inning to get the save. The Crusaders put two men on with nobody out but Zach McMillin hit into a double play which almost was a game-ending triple play as Moir couldn’t come up with the ball at first. An infield hit put two runners on with two outs. John McCracken struck out looking to end the game.
Pryor led the team going 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Schlender and Nelson each had two hits. Knowles (1-0) picked up the victory in his first start of the year. Nelson, who hadn’t had a hit thus far in the season, went 2 for 4 with two RBI.
Madonna left 11 runners on base, including having a base runner in every inning. MSUB stranded seven. Lindquist takes the loss for the Crusaders, going six and one third, allowing eight hits, six runs – five earned, three walks and seven strikeouts.
“We made some adjustments at the plate and adapted to the situation and put the ball in play and good things will happen,” Brown added.
The Yellowjackets play a doubleheader against Saint Cloud State tomorrow beginning at noon. Fans can log on to http://www.teamline.cc/teampage?teamcode=3735 to listen to the games all week.