WATERTOWN, Wis. --- After falling 5-7 in a tight game one to the Finlandia University Lions, the Sabercats stormed back to win their final game of the season thanks to a fifth-inning offensive explosion and a two-hit shutout from senior Micah Burdett.
With the results of today's Parents' Day event, the Sabercats finish the season with a 7-27 record, which includes a 6-2 home record and five wins from their final six games.
Wes Wagner took the loss in game one while Burdett earned his first win of the season in just his second start of 2017.
In game one, the Sabercats allowed Finlandia to post two runs in their opening at-bat, but quickly answered with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a leadoff Elijah May double, Micah Shepard knocked an RBI single up the middle to plate May. Two miscues from the Lions allowed MBU to score three more runs in the inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Finlandia responded well by scoring three runs in the third, and added one more in the fourth as the lead changed hands once again. An RBI single from Dennis Reinhardt in the fourth allowed Micah Shepard to cross the plate, but the Sabercats ultimately left the bases packed in the inning.
A well-placed single down the right-field line from Caleb Prigge allowed Jordan Garrison to score in the fifth, as it cut Finlandia's lead to one. Finlandia answered with their final tally in the top of the sixth, then MBU left the bases jammed for the second time in the game when they batted in the sixth. From then on, the Lions held the Sabercats scoreless as they closed out the win. (5-7)
All told, the Sabercats stranded 11 runners in the first game, as missed opportunities turned out to be a key part of the storyline. Caleb Courtney, Micah Shepard, and Caleb Prigge all recorded multiple hits in game one.
In game two, the Sabercats were unstoppable.
Micah Burdett had a career game on the mound, as he was in command to hold Finlandia hit-less through five innings. Finlandia could only sneak two hits off of the Georgia native, as ground balls barely snuck through the infield in the sixth and seventh innings.
After the Sabercats posted two runs in the opening inning, a second-inning sac fly from Caleb Courtney brought home Shepard to make the lead 3-0.
Then in the fifth, the Sabercats scored a perfect 10 runs, as they posted the most runs in an inning since that miraculous 10-run comeback in Minnesota on April 1. The Sabercats' bats were hot, and to start things off in that at-bat, Wes Wagner executed a sacrifice fly to center field, then back-to-back RBI singles from Shepard and Prigge brought home Adam Courtney and May. Jake Vossen etched an RBI in the next at-bat, and Caleb Courtney's single to left field plated Shepard.
Adam Courtney recorded an RBI the hard was, as he took a pitch to the back, marking the third Sabercat to get beaned in the fifth inning. Then one last RBI double from Wes Wagner brought in Vossen and Courtney.
Burdett fanned two Lion batters in the final inning, then a characteristically agile snag on a line drive from senior second-baseman Caleb Prigge was the exclamation point on an emphatic win to close out the season for the Sabercats. (13-0)
Seniors Burdett, Adam and Caleb Courtney, Prigge, Vossen, and Wagner (Beloit College transfer) all wrapped-up four-year baseball careers today, and, fittingly, were able to end their noteworthy MBU careers on a winning note.
Photos of today's series and a full recap of the season will be forthcoming. Stay tuned, as always, to mbusabercats.com.
More about MBU Athletics: The mission of the Athletic Department of Maranatha Baptist University is to develop leadership skills in the student-athlete through skilled training, godly mentoring, and intercollegiate competition.