Chris Anders, Urbana Sports Information
Game 1 box score | Game 2 box score
URBANA, Ohio – A couple of seventh-inning miscues cost the Urbana University baseball team in Game 1 of a doubleheader this afternoon. The Blue Knights failed to recover from the heartbreaking one-run loss, and the Northern Kentucky Norse used the momentum to sweep the Blue Knights with a 15-1 win in the night cap.
With the sweep, NKU took the season series with Urbana three games to one. The teams split a doubleheader in Kentucky one month ago. Urbana drops to an even 17-17-1 on the season, while the Norse improve to 30-18.
NKU did not wait long to get ahead in Game 1. Norse batter Evan McDole hit his 12th home run of the season in the top of the first to give the visitors a quick 2-0 lead. The lead grew to six after back-to-back two-out doubles and another two-run homer by McDole in the second.
In the bottom of the second, Urbana answered with a two-run homer of their own. Junior Kurt Lancaster hit his third long ball of the season to bring the Blue Knights within four.
Senior reliever Troy Mercer started the third inning for the Blue Knights and shut down the Norse with a variety of breaking balls. The Blue Knight bats awoke in their half of the third, erupting for five runs on five hits to take a 7-6 lead. Junior Owen Donelon’s RBI-double in the fouth gave the Blue Knights a little more breathing room.
Mercer retired 11 of the 13 batters he faced to keep the Blue Knights ahead. The Norse got an unearned run to cut the deficit in half in the sixth. In the final inning, NKU took advantage of two infield errors to take a 9-8 lead. A deflated Blue Knight squad failed to mount a threat in the bottom of the inning as the Norse took Game 1 by a run.
The Norse took another early lead in the night cap. Four hits led to four runs in the third. Joe Mack capped the scoring with a solo shot over the right field fence.
NKU put the game out of reach with five more runs in the fourth. The Norse capitalized on thiree Blue Knight errors and two wild pitches in the inning to take a commanding 9-0 lead.
NKU takes to the road again this weekend to face Kentucky Wesleyan in Great Lakes Valley Conference action. The four-game series begins with a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for noon.