Panther Pitchers Return To Form In Doubleheader
Information from news release . . .
Challenged by their coaches to return to form after a nightmarish effort on Monday, the Drury pitching staff responded in helping the 16th-ranked Panthers sweep Southwest Baptist 3-1 and 6-0 in their non-conference doubleheader Wednesday night at Meador Park.
Drury moved to 33-13 on the season with the pair of victories, while SBU finished its season 20-29.
And this was a far cry from the DU mound results on Monday, when the Panthers surrendered a combined 35 hits and 20 runs to Rockhurst in a split of their Great Lakes Valley Conference twinbill at Meador, an effort that prompted a "pitchers only" workout on Tuesday for the club ordered by head coach Scott Nasby and pitching coach Byron Hagler.
The hurlers answered by limiting Southwest Baptist to only a first-inning, first-pitch home run in Wednesday's opener of the pair of seven-inning games before shutting out the Bearcats over the final 13 innings from there.
Tyler Abma (1-1) picked up the victory in the opener in relief, while Laurent Zenoni closed it out for his fifth save as four DU pitchers combined to surrender just seven hits.
The Panthers' offense came from an RBI groundout by Matt Borgschulte in the first and RBI doubles from Nick Thimesch and Payton Reed in the fifth to put DU on top for the first time as the Panthers overcame four errors to grab the victory. Thimesch had two of Drury's five hits.
Game Two proved to be a continued dominance by the Panther pitchers, as four DU hurlders held the Bearcats to just six hits in the 6-0 shutout win. Senior lefty Evan Kuo (1-1) was the winner, providing two innings of one-hit relief after starter Tyler VanGerpen allowed just two hits and struck out four in his three innings of work.
Drury scored in the first on a Borgschulte RBI single, added two in the third on an RBI triple from Caleb Cole and Reed's run-scoring double, made it 4-0 in the fifth on Reed's RBI single and put it away with two more in the sixth on run-scoring singles from Grayson Talcott and Cole.
Cole and Reed finished with three hits and two RBIs each to pace Drury's 11-hit attack. Reed went 4 for 5 with three RBIs on the day and is now 8-for-11 with two homers and 10 RBIs over his last four games while pushing his season batting average to .373.
The Panthers will close out the regular season with a scheduled four-game GLVC series at William Jewell in Liberty on Saturday and Sunday.