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Middlebury Fifth-Inning Power Surge Dooms Baseball

Daniel Montgomery Jr. runs through the field wearing his fielder's glove.
Photo by Carlos Barron

GEORGETOWN, Texas – Middlebury College hit three homeruns in the top of the seventh inning and defeated the Southwestern University Pirates baseball team 8-4, splitting today's doubleheader in this weekend's three-game series.

Southwestern starting pitcher Travis Harvey and his Middlebury counterpart Alex Price battled in an exquisite pitchers' duel through the first few innings.

The two sophomore lefties had nearly identical games through the first three innings, leading with breaking pitches over the outside corner, mixing in high fastballs to change a hitter's eye level, then sneaking in backdoor curves as payoff pitches.

Harvey retired the Panthers in order with two strikeouts in the top of the first and Price followed by striking out three of four, surrendering only a leadoff walk to Hayden Craig.

Jake Dianno singled to lead off the second for the Panthers but Harvey recovered to get out of the inning unscathed and Price retired the Pirates in order. Both teams had three-up, three-down innings in the third as Harvey struck out two of three. Harvey remained strong in the fourth, retiring the Panthers in order.

Price started to wane for the Panthers in the bottom of the fourth, showing less movement on his pitches. Daniel Montgomery Jr. capitalized with a leadoff double through the left side and Preston Witt followed with a RBI-double to left field.

Byron Dowdell II moved Witt to third with a single through the right side and Lance Kruce hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Witt to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Harvey did the same in the top of the fifth, walking Hayden Smith to start the inning, giving him second on a balk and third on a wild pitch. After striking out Andrew Frame, Harvey surrendered back-to-back home runs, giving up a two-run homer to Andrew Gough and a solo blast to designated hitter John Collins.

After loading the bases with two walks and a fielder's choice, Harvey surrendered a grand slam home run to Kevin Woodring, ending Harvey's day. Ruben Garcia relieved Harvey and quickly surrendered three hits to load the bases before getting out of the inning with no more runs scored.

Woodring returned in the top of the sixth to add an insurance run for Middlebury, hitting a RBI-single to center to score Henry Strmecki.

The Pirates put the first two hitters on in the bottom of the seventh but Witt grounded into a double play with runners on the corners, scoring Craig, and Dowdell flied out to center to end the inning. Southwestern added another run with an inside-the-park home run by Lance Kruse for the final run of the game.

Both teams had eight hits but the Pirates left nine runners stranded.

With the loss, the Pirates drop to 5-5 on the season. Southwestern and Middlebury will conclude their three-game series tomorrow at noon.

For more SU Pirate photos, please see Carlos Barron Photography