The Northern Kentucky University baseball team didn’t quite get off to the start they were hoping for, as they dropped all three games in an opening-weekend series in Jefferson City, Tenn. against the Carson-Newman Eagles.
The Eagles got off to a quick start in game one of Saturday’s double-header, as shortstop Mills Rogers drove in second baseman Aaron Vargas on a two out single to right field. That set off a series of unfortunate events for the Norse, as a wild pitch, a stolen base, a walk and a double to right field off the bat of left fielder Corey Lamson resulted in two more runs for the Eagles.
The Norse got on the board for the first time in the third inning when second baseman Jeff Bohlen scored on a failed pickoff attempt with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Eagles added what would be the winning run in the fourth inning on center fielder Cody Nix’s sacrifice.
The Norse added two more runs, one on third baseman Pat Muth’s solo home run to left field in the seventh inning and the other on Joe Mack’s fielder choice in the eighth inning that drove in Jeff Bohlen for his second run of the game. The Eagles added one run in each of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, though, to take game one by a final score of 8-3.
Senior Sean Munninghoff got the loss, pitching four innings with five hits, four earned runs and two walks. Bohlen led the Norse at the plate, going 3-5. The Norse had four errors in game one.
In game two, the Norse came out firing first, as they took a 2-0 lead in the second on right fielder Jack Ambrose’s single to right field that drove in first baseman Joe Mack. Ambrose then scored on second baseman’s Jake Morris single to center field.
The Eagles quickly cancelled out those two runs thanks to a pair of errors by the Norse in the bottom of the second.
In the bottom of the third, after a quick one-two-three inning by the Norse, Eagles third baseman Wesley Dozie crushed a solo home run off junior Brandon Slusher.
Slusher struggles continued in the fourth, as he gave up three straight hits before being taken out. The Eagles capitalized on those hits, scoring five runs in the fourth inning to take an 8-2 lead.
The Norse tried to rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs as catcher Robby Liller, Jeff Bohlen and Evan McDole all drove in a run to cut the lead to 8-5. Left fielder Kevin Dusold grounded out to short stop to end the rally, though, and the Norse lost their second game of the day.
Slusher was credited with the loss in his one inning outing, giving up four hits, five runs, three earned runs and no walks. Bohler led the Norse at the plate again, going 2-4 with one RBI. The Norse sloppy play on the defensive side of the ball continued as they committed five errors, totaling their errors at nine in the doubleheader.
The Norse tried to avoid the sweep on Sunday, but came up short again as the Eagles won 6-4.
The Norse again got off to a fast start, scoring two runs in the top of second inning on an Evan McDole home run to right field.
The Norse had a 2-1 lead until the third inning when junior Jarrett Casey gave up back to back triples followed by a double to bring in two runs and signal the end of Casey’s day on the mound. Senior Andy Karpowicz took over for Casey and immediately threw a wild pitch that advanced an Eagles runner to third base. The Eagles added another run on a fielder’s choice to take a 4-2 lead.
NKU scored again on an RBI single by Jake Morris in the fourth, but the Eagles answered right back in the bottom of the inning with a run to take a 5-3 lead en route to a 6-4 victory over the Norse.
Casey was hit with the loss, pitching 2.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Evan McDole led the Norse at the plate in the final game of the series, going 3-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI.
The Norse will look to get their first win of the season when they take on Quincy University (1-0) at Highland Heights on February 28 at noon.