Westminster Baseball Shows Potential Despite Dropping Opening Series




The Westminster baseball team dropped its season-opening series against the University of the Ozarks (AR) this past weekend, losing two of the three games.

The Blue Jays took the first of three games on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Eagles 7-3. Deion Hughes, ‘16, was credited with the win, the 18th of his career, breaking the school record for wins. He pitched all seven innings, giving up just three earned runs while striking out five. Nick Cessna, ‘17, led the way for the offense, going 3-3 with two runs scored and one RBI.

“Offensively, we got production from a lot of different guys,” Adam Mundle, ‘18, said “We got great pitching and played really good defense, which are both crucial for success.”

The Blue Jays dropped the second game of the series 11-9. Seth Lehmen, ‘16, was charged with the loss, giving up six runs in two innings of work. Hughes went 3-3 with three RBI, and Tyler Branneky, ‘16, was 2-3 with two RBI. Branneky’s two hits moved him into first on the all-time hits list at Westminster, with 142.

Game three saw Westminster storm back in the eighth inning, scoring four runs to make it 6-6, only to lose 7-6 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Tanner Branneky, ‘17, was given the loss, pitching an inning and giving up one run. Cessna went 2-5 with two more RBI, while Nolan Bax, ‘16, went 1-3 with an RBI.

Despite the two losses, the team remains positive.

“We need to work on limiting our mental mistakes, as well as our timely hitting,” Blake Strebler, ’18, said. “We have a lot of potential, and I’m excited to see what this team can do.”

Westminster hosts Augsburg College (MN) Feb. 27-28 for a three-game series.

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