Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
While Spring Training for MLB is slowly beginning, the college baseball season is here. Murray State started its season in Daytona Beach, Florida, in which the Racers only won one of their three games.
It was the first time in history where the two teams played each other. Both the Racers and the Wildcats came off of 40-loss seasons, but the Wildcats lost in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship game.
The Racers returned home for their home opener on Tuesday. They played Harris-Stowe State University.
The Racers started game one with a 5-0 win against the Wildcats. Junior first baseman and left-handed pitcher Jack Harnec, a transfer from Lincoln Trail Community College, got his first start of the season on the mound. He was able to throw five innings with three strikeouts, four hits and three walks.
Murray State was led offensively by junior outfielder Aaron Bence with a 3-for-4 performance. The Wildcats helped out the Racers by committing two errors leading to two unearned runs. The Racers were earned three other earned runs by three RBIs from junior outfielder Adam Bauer, junior first baseman Ramsey Scott and senior outfielder Reed Thompson.
The Wildcats’ pitching only allowed the Racers three hits in game two, beating Murray State 6-0. Sophomore infielder Caleb Hicks went 1-for-4 and junior outfielder Brandon Gutzler went 2-for-4 to round out the offensive effort for the Racers. Junior right-handed pitcher Austin Dubsky struggled in his first start as a Racer, going just 3.2 innings. Dubsky gave up five hits, three earned runs and two walks.
The Racers struggled defensively, committing three errors that led to two unearned runs. Bethune-Cookman connected for 10 hits, three doubles and a homerun in the victory.
The Racers needed to put together a comeback after finding themselves down 3-0 in the top of the sixth inning. The Wildcats held off the late rally from the Racers in their 3-2 victory.
Senior right-handed pitcher Andrew Bramely went four innings giving up four hits, three earned runs and three walks. He also struck out three Wildcat hitters.
The Racers scored two runs on six hits in the final game of the series. Both runs came in the top of the sixth inning. The first run came off an RBI double from Gutzler. Later in the inning, Ramsey hit a sacrifice fly scoring the second and final run for the Racers.
Murray State played its home opener Tuesday and won 13-4 over Harris-Stowe.
The Racers combined for 15 hits and zero errors.
Junior right-handed pitcher John Lollar came in relief in the second inning. He pitched two innings and finished with four strikeouts.
Tyler Lawrence, junior catcher and outfielder, went 3-5 with one RBI. Bauer went 2-3 with a double and four RBI’s to lead the Racers offensively. Freshman infielder and right-handed pitcher Jaron Robinson went 2-4, four RBI’s and a walk to help contribute to the win.
The Racers will play a three game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home against Northern Illinois University.