In the bottom of the ninth of Sunday’s game, the Racers were trying to protect a one run lead against Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, but due to a walk, an error and a double later on the Racers lost the game.
A day earlier, the Racers (1-5) won their first game of the season, beating IPFW 4-1. They were leading for most of game two of the series before it slipped away. In the third game, a 20-3 blowout for IPFW, the lingering effect of game two’s ninth inning collapse carried over said Head Coach Kevin Moulder.
Moulder was ejected in the top of the ninth inning for arguing a called strike out against the Racers.
During the back and forth of game two, the first of a doubleheader last Sunday, the Racers fell behind early by giving up four runs in the bottom of the first but responded with an outburst of seven runs in the second to retake the lead. The Racers added two more in the third to extend their lead to 9-4, but IPFW chipped away over the next six innings. After the eighth, they had the lead 10-9.
“It was not a well-pitched ballgame on either side,” Moulder said. “We got in a big hole, down 4-0, we battled back and took a 9-4 lead by the third inning, then our offense hit a lull and didn’t score again until the ninth.”
Murray State responded in the top of the ninth with two runs to retake the lead.
Pitcher Tyler Anderson returned the end of the game to pitch the bottom of the ninth after a rough end to the eighth. He came on in relief with two runners on in the eighth and one out. After recording a strikeout, he let back to back singles that allowed both runners to score.
The first batter for IPFW in the ninth went down on strikes and the second batter reached on a walk after a full count. Anderson then committed an error, allowing the go ahead run to get on base. The next batter smacked a double down the left field line to seal the victory.
“Our bullpen wasn’t able to shut the door and they scored a couple runs in each of the last two innings,” Moulder said.
The Racers won the first game of the series Saturday behind a strong outing by senior Brock Downey. Downey went six innings and gave up just one run on three hits and struck out eight.
“I just go out there and attack each hitter and control what I can control,” Downey said. “What their pitchers are doing, I can’t really control that, I just have control what I do.”
A previously canceled home game was moved to Carbondale, Ill. against the Southern Illinois University Salukis.
The Racers led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning and SIUC hit a solo homerun to tie the game.
With two outs and runners on first and third redshirt freshman Anderson, came on to pitch and got out of the jam. Racers led off the 11th inning with a triple from Tyler Lawrence.
The Racers won 3-2 in an 11 inning game. Anderson pitched 2.1 innings, strikes out three, and walked two allowing no hits and no runs.
This weekend the Racers will travel back to the Perfect Game Complex due to bad weather causing unplayable field conditions at Johnny Reagan Field. They have also changed opponents, as they will now play the Dayton University Flyers in a three game series. The first game will be at 8 p.m. on Friday in Emerson, Ga.
“The expectation every week is to win. It starts with competing every inning,” Downey said. “We have to put a full nine inning game together.”
The Racers have an opportunity to do just that this weekend in Georgia.
Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer