Baseball Loses Shootout With Westminster

John Luke went 3-5 with a homer and two RBI.
John Luke went 3-5 with a homer and two RBI.

The Middlebury baseball team (2-6) lost a shootout to Westminster (Mo.) on Tuesday, falling by a score of 15-14 in Tucson, Arizona. The Panthers return to action on Wednesday with a matchup against Gustavus Adolphus.

The Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the third inning as John Luke led off with a single to right field. Two batters later, Alex Deutsch singled to right before Johnny Read belted a double to right to drive in a run. Two batters later, Read scored on a wild pitch and an error as Middlebury led early.

Westminster (11-6) scored the next five runs before the Panthers plated a pair in the top of the fifth. Sam Graf drew a walk and moved to third on a single to center by Spencer Tonies. Graf scored on a ground out by Max Araya, while Luke later doubled to center to plate Joe MacDonald, who had previously singled.

The Blue Jays regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, with Middlebury going on top 9-6 with four in the sixth. Jake Turtel walked and moved to third on a double to right by Drew Coash. A sacrifice fly by Deutsch plated Turtel, while Read was hit by a pitch. Graf followed with a three-run shot to right-center field, putting his team on top.

Westminster came back with a pair in the sixth before the Panthers added a run in the seventh on a solo shot from Luke.

Leading 10-8, Middlebury added to its lead in the eighth with four more runs. Araya tripled to center to score two runs, while MacDonald singled in Araya for a 13-8 lead. A double by Turtel to center field drove in MacDonald to make it a 14-8 game.

The Panther lead didn't last long as the Blue Jays struck for seven runs in the eight with five-straight singles to start the inning. The Panthers went quietly in the ninth, falling 15-14.

Conor Himstead (0-1) took the loss in relief for Middlebury, while Brendan Donohue started and Dylan Takamori also saw action. Five players had a multiple-hit game (Luke, Tonies, MacDonald, Turtel, Coash) for the Panthers, led by Luke, who finished 3-5 with a double, a homer, two RBI and a run scored.

Nick Cessna earned the win in relief for Westminster, also going 5-6 with a double, RBI and three runs scored at the plate for the Blue Jays.