Sabercats Drop Defensive Battles to Open Season

Sabercats Drop Defensive Battles to Open Season

LINCOLN, Ill. --- The Sabercats showed promise on their first day on the diamond, but came up just short against Trinity International (3-4) and Lincoln Christian (0-3). Jordan Garrison and Clint Matheis took the losses, but conceded just two earned runs between them.

Caleb Prigge went 3-3 with a run scored against TIU, and Micah Shepard registered three hits on the day.

In the first game against Trinity International, the Sabercats started with some rust, conceding two runs in the first inning after posting a couple of errors. 

It did not take long for them to turn their game around, however, as a third-inning rally put MBU back in front. Prigge got things started with a base hit to right, and advanced to second with some solid execution and baserunning on a bunt from Dennis Reinhardt. After some Trojan errors and a deep single from Wes Wagner, the Sabercats had a one-run lead.

The Sabercats' momentum would be short lived, however, as the Trojans tied the game in the fourth. Heads-up play from Jake Vossen allowed him to reach first on a dropped third strike, and he stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. Vossen advanced to third after a Prigge single, and Reinhardt nearly brought Vossen home, but the line drive from Reinhardt was snagged by Ethan Jarvis in left field.

Elijah May doubled in the seventh, but would ultimately be stranded as well. In their final two innings at the plate, the Sabercats had two runners in scoring position left on base.

To the Sabercats' chagrin, the Trojans ended the game in walkoff fashion. After getting a runner to third, the Trojans took the win when Nick Gehrt singled to right to bring home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. (3-4)

The Sabercats were frustrated against Lincoln Christian, and were held to just one hit by a hard-working Lance Warner. Clint Matheis put in a good day's work on the mound as well, but the three runs that Lincoln posted would be adequate for the win.

Matheis posted four strikeouts in the loss, and Micah Shepard was the only MBU player to record a hit. 

The Red Lions turned three hits into two runs in the first inning, and added one more in the fourth. The three-run lead would hold up behind Warner's day of work on the mound.

"I was pleased with our performance for our first games of the season," said head coach Gary Garrison. "We made some crucial mental errors and played a bit nervous, but we saw some very positive things. On the day, our pitching was very good. I was pleased with the outings...just not the outcome."

The Sabercats continue their trip south and will face the NCCAA powerhouses of Hiwassee and Berea next week. First pitch againt Hiwassee is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 in Madisonville, Tenn.

Live coverage information on both games will be forthcoming.