Aviators Win in Shootout

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lafayette, IN - The Lafayette Aviators (28-24) swept the West Virginia Miners (18-35) on Tuesday at Loeb Stadium. Both of the games of the doubleheader were shortened to seven innings.

Game 1

Despite an early run from West Virginia in the top of the first inning, the Aviators got off to a hot start with Matt Phipps’ (Western Kentucky) hot bat. After Trey Sweeney (Eastern Illinois) and Zach Schwartzenberger (Toledo) singled, Matt Phipps crushed a three-run homer over the left field wall to give Lafayette a 3-1 lead after one inning.

The Aviators grabbed two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Braedon Blackford (Illinois State) led off the inning with a solo bomb to dead center field. Blackford’s seventh homer of the season sailed well over the 407 sign on the center field wall in the deepest part of the ballpark. Two batters later, Matt Mackey (Eastern Illinois) was hit by a pitch and then was hit home on a single from Blake Schmitt (Purdue). Lafayette retained a 5-1 lead

Braedon Blackford wasn’t satisfied with his home run in the fourth. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Blackford went yard once again, this time to deep right. With two dingers in game one of the doubleheader, the future Illinois State Redbird recorded his seventh and eighth home runs of the summer.

West Virginia got two runs back in the top of the sixth after back-to-back doubles, but the Aviators held the lead at 6-3.

Nathaniel Tate (East Tennessee State) gave the Aviators the start they needed on the mound in game one. Through five and two-thirds innings of work, Tate scattered seven hits and tallied three strikeouts. Cameron Holycross (Indiana State) entered the game in the sixth inning and slammed the door on the Miners to seal the victory.

 

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Game 2

West Virginia drew first blood once again in game two. The Miners pieced together three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning, but the Aviators answered in the bottom half. With two outs and the bases loaded, Braedon Blackford blasted a ball that one-hopped the right-center field wall and scored two baserunners. After the Blackford double the Miners led 3-2.

Lafayette took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Trey Sweeney singled to score Zach Schwartzenberger (Toledo) and Mason Sykes (Wabash Valley), and then Chris Monroe (Illinois-Springfield) singled up the middle to plate Sweeney. After two innings the Aviators led 5-4.

Unfortunately for Lafayette, the Miners were able to slap up a five-spot in the top of the fourth inning. Blake Schmitt came through for the Aviators in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out, two-run single to cut the deficit to 9-7.

After West Virginia made it 10-7 in the top of the sixth, the Aviator offense exploded. The first four Lafayette batters all reached base, as the Aviators recorded seven hits and three walks. Miles Simington (Purdue) grabbed an RBI on a single, Zach Schwartzenberger (Toledo) brought home two runs with a single, Sweeney knocked and RBI-single, Matt Mackey plated two runs on a base hit to right field, and then Miles Simington brought in two more runs with a double. Lafayette brought in a whopping nine runs in the inning and led 16-10 entering the seventh.

West Virginia rocked two solo homers in the top of the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Aviators lead.

 

 

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