By Rick Sheek
After watching Emory & Henry rally to knot the affair, Milligan College’s baseball team regrouped in impressive fashion.
The Buffs put away the Wasps 9-3 in Tuesday night’s non-conference action at Anglin Field. Milligan (22-21) struck for three runs in the seventh and eighth innings to decide the outcome.
“We battled,” Milligan coach Nathan Meade said. “It was a slow start for us offensively, but there again our arms gave us a chance to win. Finally we got some things going late in the ball game, and were able to put up some runs.”
It was tied at 3 in the seventh inning when a Milligan baserunner crossed on a wild pitch. Kyle Kolat followed with a run-scoring single and the Buffs held a 6-3 advantage after a run was plated on an error.
“It’s big,” Meade said. “Middle of the week, my belief is it propels you to the weekend. Mid-week, you can’t over-stress the middle of the week — it’s just very important.
“Good teams find ways to win games in the middle of the week, and that kind of propels them to the weekend.”
Pinch-hitter Blake Buck led off the bottom of the eighth with a double. Wesley Jones tripled him in, Cory Hilton ripped a run-scoring single and Joe Purus completed the onslaught with a run-scoring triple.
“We’ve got three or four guys in our lineup that are pretty good hitters, plus runners,” Meade said. “That kind of plays into our favor. We know we are not going to set back and wait on the 1-2-3 home run all of the time.
“We’re capable, but that’s not our game, so we try to utilize our speed the best we can.”
Emory’s Joe Washburn loaded the bases on three walks to open the second. Ben Powers tagged a sacrifice fly and Hunter Carpenter unleashed a two-run double to make it 3-0.
The Buffs stranded three in the fifth.
Ricky Sowers got the NCAA Division III Wasps (10-20) rolling in the seventh with a two-run triple. Eric Houff’s run-scoring single tied it up.
Emory’s Same Line batted 2 for 4. Josh McMillian went 2 for 5.
Washburn hurled six innings in yielding just three hits. He allowed five earned runs, struck out two and walked six with a wild pitch.
In relief, Colby Gardner was touched for five hits in two innings. He surrendered two earned runs, fanned two and walked one with a wild pitch.
Houff stole four bases
For NAIA’s Milligan, Carpenter was 2 for 3. Hilton went 2 for 5.
Derek Long fired six innings, serving up four hits in his shutout effort. He struck out five and walkd one.
Tyler Walker, in two innings, yielded the three runs. He struck out one.
Left-hander Taylor Wilson closed the ninth, allowing one hit. He fanned two, walked one and hurled a wild pitch.
“It’s a good win,” Meade said. “We’ve got one more mid-week game, we go to VI next weekend and Unicoi comes in for the last one. Hopefully we’ll stay hot.
“I know we got five out of the last six in the conference, so that’s good. Hopefully we can finish strong here and lock up a three or two seed going in the tournament.”
E&H 000 000 300 — 3 8 1
Milligan 030 000 33x — 9 8 1
Washburn, Gardner (7) and Metz. Long, Walker (7), Wilson (9) and Malone. W— Long (2-3). L—Gardner (1-3).