Trevecca Nazarene trips up OVU

PARKERSBURG -Runs had been hard to come by during Ohio Valley University’s four-game losing streak entering Friday’s doubleheader with Trevecca Nazarene.

In the first game, the Fighting Scots headed in the right direction in terms of their offense, but not quite at the same pace as the Trojans, who swept the twinbill by scores of 12-5 and 1-0.

Trevecca Nazarene (30-9, 12-2 G-MAC) had been averaging nearly 11 runs per game while winning 10 of its last 11 games and maintained its production in the opener as the team from Nashville, Tenn., combined for six extra base hits, including three homers.

The Trojans proved they could manufacture runs as well while building a 7-3 lead through three innings. OVU (13-22, 3-11 G-MAC) fell behind 4-0 in the top of the second inning as Ethan Hurt doubled home one run, while No. 9 hitter in the lineup Patrick Reed and leadoff batter Nick Howell each singled in another.

Trevecca Nazarene sent out to the mound its top strikeout pitcher in Michael Purcell, but OVU tagged the lefty for three runs in the bottom half of the second inning. Christian Hall singled in two runs and Logan Dan crossed home plate as the Fighting Scots executed the double steal.

OVU starter Zach Heath, who retired the first four batters he faced, continued to get roughed up in the fourth inning as the Trojans scored three times. The major blow was a two-run double from Bryson Shelton.

Heath settled down and retired 10 of 11 batters he faced, and received support from his teammates as OVU posted single runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to cut the deficit to 7-5. The Fighting Scots were the beneficiaries of a throwing error in the fourth inning for their only run, while Cody Morris blasted a solo homer to lead off the sixth inning.

OVU then did a vanishing act as Purcell retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced. He finished with nine strikeouts in a complete-game effort.

Trevecca Nazarene tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning on solo homers from Howell and Luke Fennell. OVU relief pitcher Josh Saverko calmed the storm temporarily and hurled shutout ball for 1 1-3 innings before the Trojans scored three times in the ninth inning. Fennell was responsible for the final two runs after hitting his team-leading fifth home run of the season.

In the nightcap, Trevecca Nazarene escaped out of a major jam in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the 1-0 victory.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the seventh inning. Reed tripled with two outs off OVU starter Cole Yoder then trotted home on Howell’s base hit to right field.

In the home half of the inning, Trevecca Nazarene starter Alex Shoulder walked the first two batters. Chris Perna laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners one base. Max Brown, who had two hits earlier in the game, was intentionally walked to load the bases.

The Fighting Scots, however, were unable to bring home the tying run as Mason Rine’s tapper was fielded by Shoulder, who threw home for the force out. The final OVU batter, Travis Parrish, grounded into yet another fielder’s choice as the Trojans’ shortstop flipped to third base for the last out.

OVU and Trevecca will meet in a doubleheader again today at Bennett Stump Field, with games set for 1 and 3 p.m.