WATERTOWN, WI – Freshman pitcher Micah Burdett (Newnan, GA) struck out five, Tim Rogers (Willmar, MN) drove in Galen Balinski (Mountainhome, PA) for the game-winning run, and Maranatha’s defense sealed the team’s fourth win of the season by a score of 4-3, on Saturday afternoon.
The team lost a tight, 3-1 competition in game one, but bounced back in game two behind the young arm of Burdett, who improved to 2-2, and a resilient squad that broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Finlandia opened game two with a run in the top of the first, and with two outs tried to steal home but made it no further than the glove of freshman catcher Jacob Vossen (Port Clinton, OH), on a heads-up pick-off by Burdett to end the inning.
Balinski opened up a two-run third inning with his team-leading, fourth double of the season, and after Borland singled and Rogers reached on a fielder’s choice, Burdett capitalized with an RBI single to score Balinski.
Senior outfielder Caleb Rost (Greenville, S.C.) also had an RBI on a fielder’s choice, and Maranatha owned a 3-1 lead entering the top of the fourth.
But the Lions responded with two straight singles to open the next inning, and cut the lead back to one, on a groundout RBI, before tying the game in the fifth inning on an error.
The spotlight belonged to Maranatha though, in a turnaround fifth, in which the team scored the go-ahead run, setup by two straight singles before Balinski scored his second run of the game after going 3-3 at the plate.
Burdett and the defense stymied the Lions in the remaining two innings, allowing no hits and no base runners.
Borland went 2-4 in the second game, and Burdett pitched seven innings, allowing just five hits, two earned runs and five strikeouts.
Adam Courtney pitched seven complete innings in game one, allowing only six hits, three earned runs while striking out six.
Freshman outfielder Jed Hedlund (Santa Maria, CA) singled in the fourth inning to cut back Finlandia’s lead to 3-1, and had a chance to tie it in the seventh with two runners on before ending the game on a strikeout.
The Crusaders have a two-day turnaround before facing Lakeland College on Monday, at 1:00 p.m. in Plymouth, WI.