UPLAND, Ind. – The Mount Vernon Nazarene University baseball team (36-16, 27-9) defeated the Bethel University Pilots (25-29, 19-17) 10-8 and the Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats (31-23, 23-13) by a score of 5-3 to stay alive in the Crossroads League tournament on Monday, May 9.
In MVNU’s first game of the day, the Cougars faced off with Bethel University. The Cougars jumped on Bethel early, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Casey Kalman hit an RBI double and scored when Devin Pearl singled to center. Cameron Miller continued his hot streak at the plate as the senior blasted a two-run homer to make it 4-0.
Toby Walker’s sac-fly in the second made it 5-0. In the seventh, MVNU would tack on three more insurance runs. Miller singled in a run, Clay Cottle hit an RBI double, and Zackary Hoop singled to score Damien Kandel. Finally, in the eighth, Andrew Miller hit a solo homerun and Kandel scored on a throwing error to secure the 10-8 victory. Josh Pettit threw six strong innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and three walks. The righty struck out seven batters. Reliever Maxwell Donawa would be the winner and Cruz McFadden would pick up the save.
The Cougars fought hard to stay alive in the Crossroads League Tournament and their reward was a date with the Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats. The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, scoring two unearned runs off of a fielder’s choice and a double play. Then, in the third, Kalman’s two-run homerun put MVNU on top 4-1 over the Wildcats.
IWU scored two in the middle innings to cause a bit of stress to the Cougars, but Andrew Miller’s RBI double sealed the victory for MVNU in the seventh. Jarin Bertke started and went five innings for the Cougars as the freshman gave up one earned run on just five hits. Bertke struck out three and walked two. He picked up the win and McFadden continued his historic season, earning his second save of the day.
The Cougars will next play on Tuesday, May 10 at 3:30pm against the winner of Marian and Saint Francis. The site for the third day of the tournament is at Taylor University in Upland Indiana.