The NKU baseball team squeaked past the Maryville Scots, 3-1, on the heels of a dominant pitching performance from junior Tyler Miller on Wednesday afternoon.
“I had everything working for me out there,” Miller said. “I located my fastball well and was able to throw my secondary pitches for strikes, which kept the hitters off-balance.”
Miller tossed his first-ever complete game, allowing only one run on four hits and four walks while striking out four. The Norse gave him just enough run support to work with, as Quint Heady and Clark Pence each scored a run and drove in a run to pace the offense.
Maryville (23-13) wasted no time scoring in the first inning. Miller committed a cardinal sin by walking the leadoff hitter, and two batters later, Nick Dean, who came into the game hitting .460, doubled off the wall in right-center to give the Scots an early 1-0 lead.
NKU (11-21) answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, as an RBI single by Cody Kuzniczci tied the game at one-all and extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Scots threatened to score in the third with runners at first and second and only one out, but Miller was able to get out of the inning unscathed by inducing an inning-ending double play.
Both offenses struggled to score until the fifth inning. Pence led off with a single to left field, while Dominic Mercurio followed that up with a double over the right fielder’s head that one-hopped the fence. Heady later singled through the left side of the infield to put the Norse on top, 2-1.
The Norse loaded the bases in the sixth with two outs, but Lawson Wishard pitched his way out of the jam by getting Caleb Lonkard to fly out to left.
NKU added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Pence singled home Kyle Colletta to give the Norse a 3-1 advantage, which proved to be the final score.
“We’ve been struggling a bit lately, so this was an important win for us in front of our home crowd,” Head Coach Todd Asalon said.
NKU was without its best hitter in Cole Bauml, who received news today that he will miss approximately 2 to 3 weeks with a broken thumb. The injury occurred when he was hit by a pitch during Saturday’s contest against Kennesaw State.
“Cole’s injury is obviously a huge blow to the team, so we’ll need guys to step up in his absence going forward,” Asalon said.
NKU begins a nine-game road trip over the weekend with a three-game series against Atlantic Sun foe Stetson in DeLand, Florida.