Scots baseball surges ahead: Men split games with Knox, keep momentum for season end
April 17, 2015
Michelle Ravel / The Courier - Senior Blake Abbot.
The Scots renewed their rivalry with the Knox Prairie Fire this weekend, but came away without the results they had hoped for.
Monmouth faced off against their longtime rivals in two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday to win both the first day, but lost both games on Sunday by close scores of 13-11 in the first game 5-3 in the second game. The Prairie Fire and the Scots combined for an unbelievable 49 hits across game 1 and game 2 on Sunday.
On Saturday the Scots had strong pitching and offensive performances to contribute to the day’s sweep. The Scots took advantage of the Prairie Fire’s errors and compounded on their lead. They ended the day with two victories of 11-6 and 9-2.
Sunday was a different story. Monmouth couldn’t quite handle Knox and fell in two disappointing losses.
“We didn’t give up,” said senior Luke Gschwendtner. “We had base runners on late in the game as well as some good pitching in that second game. The first game didn’t go as we had hoped. We just couldn’t seem to get that clutch hit when we needed to.”
The first game was a back and forth affair that saw the Prairie Fire open up to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Monmouth held the lead from 4th inning up until the sixth inning when Knox rattled off a total of four runs.
Senior Raahsaan Fox helped tie up the game at 11 apiece in the bottom of the sixth inning by hitting a triple and later scoring on senior Blake Abbott’s double. Knox would strike back to tally another the last two runs of the game in the very next inning to seal the victory.
Michelle Ravel / The Courier - Brandon Harroun. The Scots came out of the weekend 2-2 against Knox Saturday and Sunday, and sealed a win against Robert Morris on Wednesday in Springfield.
“It was definitely disappointing to lose like that,” said freshman Brian Hoel. “We continued to play like the close knit group that is lead by this strong senior class. It’s been a lot of fun playing with such a team that grinds day in and day out.”
Monmouth’s bats went cold in the second game partially due to the fact they had to play catch up the entire game. Knox tallied four runs in the first three innings of the game and tacked on another in the seventh inning. Monmouth didn’t hold the lead at all in the second game and managed just three runs in the affair.
“After a loss it’s easy to point fingers and blame other people,” said Fox. “But as a team we know that the biggest thing we can take away from the loss is not taking our foot off the pedal. We appreciate the fan support its been the best its been since I was a freshmen and we want to encourage people to keep coming to the games to support us on our journey to be conference champs.”
Redeeming themselves on Wednesday, the Scots headed to Springfield to take on Robert Morris University. The Scots led 7-2 at the end of the fourth inning when Robert Morris responded with three runs in the sixth and narrowed the lead. It wasn’t enough to challenge the team, and Monmouth came away with a 10-6 win.
After this weekend’s double headers and the game against Robert Morris, the Fighting Scots currently sit at a 10-14 record overall and are an even .500 in conference standings.
With only a few more weeks left in the season, the team has only five more opponents to face. The next game for the Scots is a double header at home on Sunday against Robert Morris-Peoria followed by a Tuesday game versus Robert Morris-Springfield for the second time to defend their record.