WALESKA, Ga. -- UPIKE was a couple breaks away from taking its first series on the road this season against No. 20 Reinhardt, but head back to Kentucky taking one of three from the Eagles.
After an early outburst in the second inning Reinhardt’s pitching staff shut down the UPIKE bats in the series opener, with the Eagles winning 6-3.
UPIKE jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second after leadoff singles from Jay Vincent and Kase Mattingly and a sac bunt set the stage for Pastor Sanchez, who got his first hit and RBI’s of the season with a two-RBI single.
From that point on, UPIKE would only muster one more hit for the rest of the game. Reinhardt would score five times from the third through the fifth inning to bust the game open.
Bruce Bell (0-2, 6.94 ERA) would pick up the loss after giving up those five runs in 5.2 innings and striking out four. Justin Dziuba and Austin Spada combined for 2.1 innings of one-run relief.
Reinhardt tacked on an additional run in the eighth to make a four-run lead entering the ninth.
Jacob Alvarado led the inning with a walk, then Tyler Menrath followed with a double to get two runners in scoring position with no outs. Lubinicki brought home Alvarado with an RBI groundout. But then a strikeout and fly out ended the game.
UPIKE’s bats came alive in a big way in Saturday’s first game, with the Bears earning their first win of the season by a score of 9-8.
The Bears struck for eight runs across the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to help propel the win, but the scoring got started in the second with a Jay Vincent home run out to left, his second of the year.
Reinhardt didn’t allow that lead to stick long though, striking for three runs in the third on a three-run home run from Andres Ugarte. The Eagle lead grew even bigger in the fifth with a two-RBI double.
However, UPIKE responded immediately, starting with a RBI double from Lubinicki. Vincent followed with an RBI double of his own, then Anthony Houk brought him home with an RBI single.
Pikeville tied the game the next inning with after Sanchez reached base with a double, then advanced and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
After Reinhardt tacked one back in the 7th, UPIKE busted the game open with a four-run eighth. Lubinicki singled to open the inning, then stole second, and Vincent got his third hit of the game to advance Lubinicki to third. He scored on a fielder’s choice, and after a walk, Brendan Halstrom delivered what would be the dagger with a three-run home run.
Reinhardt tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth by scoring two runs on a Ugarte double and a Chandler Wold single, but Dzuiba buckled down and struck out the final batter to win the game.
Dzuiba (0-0, 1.42 ERA) earned the long save after throwing three innings of two-hit, five-strikeout ball. Peyton Dove (1-1, 9.00 ERA) earned the win for the Bears with a four-hit, 4.1 inning outing.
UPIKE couldn’t string together enough hits to steal the series and dropped the seven-inning rubber match, 5-2.
Reinhardt got started in a hurry with a two-run homer from Ugarte in the bottom of the first. After that one mistake, Brady Cappe and Daniel Dolensky engaged in an absolute pitchers’ duel for the next four innings, surrendering just four hits combined.
Pikeville leveled the score after Halstrom launched his second home run of the day in the sixth. However, UPIKE was the recipient of some tough luck after Reinhardt took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run error that would have ended the inning. The Eagles tacked on an extra insurance run after that on an RBI double.
The Bears then went down in order in the top of the seventh to end the series on a sour note. Cappe (0-2, 2.84 ERA) took the tough-luck loss after throwing 5.2 innings of four-hit ball.
UPIKE will finally get to play some games on its own field on Wednesday with a doubleheader against Rio Grande, which starts a eight-game, eight-day long homestand. First pitch at Johnnie LeMaster Field is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.