Buffs, Lions split pair

By Ivan Sanders

   After a week of snow and rain, the sun finally broke through the clouds to provide an ideal setting for a Saturday afternoon baseball doubleheader at Milligan College's Anglin Field as the Buffs played host to the Bryan College Lions.
   For those watching the game, if they had not known that Bryan College is playing its first full season of baseball after 17 years without the program, they might have thought they were watching a tried and proven team as Bryan capitalized on two first-inning runs and then held off a late charge by Milligan to take a 2-1 win in the day's first game.
   Freshman Brent King from Seymour pitched a complete game giving up one run on five hits and three walks, one being intentional, in notching the victory from the hill for Bryan.
   Matt Simons (2-1) by all accounts didn't have a bad day either for Milligan as the senior hurler gave up the two early runs and then settled down to allow only three hits total, fan 13 Lion batters, and issue only one walk in working the complete game.
   After allowing the two runs early, Simmons kept the Lions at bay allowing his offense an opportunity to pick it up and score some runs in support of his effort. The only other hit by Bryan came off the bat of Lions first baseman Blake Freemen who ripped a double into Milligan's centerfield lake in the top of the fourth inning.
   Meanwhile, the Milligan offense seemed to be a little anxious as King faced the minimum number of batters in three of the first five innings.
   The Buffs finally got something going in he sixth as David Rusaw drew a base on balls. Will Little came in as a pinch runner and scored on a RBI single by Elizabethton native Ben Whittemore who advanced to second as the Lions left fielder bobbled the ground ball.
   Shortstop Brad Hitch was issued an intentional walk with both base runners taking an additional base on a passed ball by Lion catcher James White. Bryan was able to elude any further damage as King caught pinch hitter Brian LeHeup looking to end the frame.
   With their backs against the wall, the Buffs tried to rally in their last at bat as pinch hitter Pat Gould scorched a single with one out. The next batter , Nathan Meade, hit into a 6-4 fielders choice to erase Gould.
   Centerfielder Scott Shealy then laced a single to put the tying run 90 feet away. King then put Milligan away as he enticed Rusaw into a 6-4 ground out that allowed Bryan to take game one by a 2-1 score.
   Game two belonged to Milligan as they took a 10-0 win in six innings. The Buffs come out like a buzz saw in the opening inning by batting through their lineup in collecting four runs on six hits in the inning with Shealy and Rusaw collecting back-to-back extra base hits to start the game.
   Meanwhile, Milligan hurler Dustin Barrett kept his record unblemished in collecting his second win against no losses in the complete game gem. Bryan would only collect one hit in the game with Barrett picking up six strikeouts while issuing only one walk.
   Shealy and catcher Jason Torres lead the Milligan offensive attack by going 2 for 3 with one walk each. Jesse Dannemiller and Dustin Price added a 2 for 4 effort each with Price driving in two runs and Dannemiller collecting three RBI's, including knocking in the winning run to end the game in the bottom of the sixth on the ten run mercy rule.
   With the split, Milligan stands at 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. They will be entertaining Lee University from Cleveland, Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon at Anglin Field at 2 p.m.