Warriors sweep Lincoln Trail to extend win streak

Wabash Valley College sophomore Cael Baker hits a fly ball. Baker and the Warriors improved to 14-1, extending their winning streak to 12 games with their sweep of Lincoln Trail.

MOUNT CARMEL -- It's be an excellent start to the season for Wabash Valley College. Preseason pollsters had the Warriors within the top 10 and they've more than justified their preseason expectations thus far.

The Warriors improved to 14-1 following their three-game series sweep of Lincoln Trail.

After a weekend of weather delays, the two teams were able to at last begin the series on Monday with a doubleheader.

In the first game Warriors ace and right-handed sophomore Ryan O'Connell took the mound and pitched a gem. O'Connell (3-1) went 7 2-3 innings of three-hit, one run, six strikeout baseball. Freshman closer CJ Weins closed it out to earn the save, allowing just one hit and one run in the final 1 1-3 innings and putting the finishing touches on the 4-2 victory.

The Warriors bats came alive in the first inning, providing three runs of run support for O'Connell and enough for the game. Freshman catcher Zade Richardson led the Warriors with his 2-for-4 performance with an RBI.

In the second game of the day, it was all Warriors. Their hitters slammed the Lincoln Trail pitching for 10 runs, including eight between the third and fifth innings. Freshman shortstop Savier Pinales had a tremendous showing, hitting 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Sophomore center fielder Noah Myers stole five bases in the two games and went a combined 5-for-9 with an RBI and five stolen bases.

Southpaw freshman Cameron Tullar shut down the Statesmen hitters in the game. Tullar (2-0) threw five innings of two-hit, one run, seven strikeout baseball. Mason Vinyard and Price Adams contributed an inning each to end the shortened seven inning game and a 10-2 Warriors victory.

The final game of the series came on Tuesday at Lincoln Trail and the Warriors proved victorious 7-4.

Sophomore pitcher Jon Beymer took the mound in the final game and pitched another great game for the Warriors. Beymer (3-0) threw five innings of one-hit, one run, 11 strikeout baseball.

The Warrior bats erupted for six runs between the fourth and six innings, but much of it was largely due to patience at the plate and their baserunning ability. As a team, WVC walked 12 times in the game and stole 11 bases. Warrior head coach Rob Fournier had previously said the Warriors had been working diligently on their situational hitting and it showed. Sophomore Cael Baker led the exceptional situational hitting with his three walks and three stolen bases. Myers posted another strong hitting performance, going 2-for-5 with one run and an RBI.

With the clean sweep the No. 3 ranked Warriors (14-1) extended their winning streak to 12 games. Now they'll turn their attention to a three-game series with Southwestern Illinois, weather permitting. The series is slated to begin at Wabash Valley College on Thursday (March 14) at 3 p.m. Following that game, the remaining two games will be played at Southwestern in a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday.

Game one:

WVC -- 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 X -- 4

LTC -- 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 -- 2

Notable hitting: Baker 1-for-3, 2B, 1 RBI. Richardson 2-for-4, 1 RBI. Sykes 1-for-3 1 RBI. Myers 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 SB.

Pitching: WP -- O'Connell (3-1) 7 2-3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Game two:

WVC -- 0 1 3 1 4 1 X -- 10

LTC -- 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 -- 2

Notable hitting: Myers 3-for-5 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 SB. Pinales 2-for-3, 2 R, 4 RBIs, 4 SB. Baker 1-for-1, 2 RBIs, 2 SB. Richardson 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Liebert 0-for-1, 1 BB, 1 RBI 1 SB.

Pitching: WP -- Tullar (2-0) 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K.

Game three:

WVC -- 0 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 1 -- 7

LTC -- 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 -- 4

Notable hitting: Myers 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB. Pinales 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Fuentes 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB. Baker 0-for-1, 3 BB, 3 SB. Rivera 1-for-2, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 SB. Sykes 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB. Arntson 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI. Mineyte 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI. Allen 0-for-0, 1 RBI.

Pitching: WP -- Beymer (3-0) 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 11 K. LP -- Spencer 3 2-3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K.

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