AIA Drops NYCBL Opener to Wellsville, 7-3
WEBSTER, N.Y. – Josh Davis tallied a pair of extra-base hits and Athletes in Action’s pitching staff combined to strike out 11 batters in a 7-3 season-opening loss to the Wellsville Nitros at Basket Road Field Thursday night.
Davis (Whitworth College – Spokane, Wash.) went 2-for-4 with a double in the second inning and triple in the ninth. The third baseman was the only player on the home side to manage multiple hits in the contest as Wellsville outhit AIA 11-6.
Five different AIA pitchers combined to fan 11 Nitro hitters, including Davis Patrick (North Georgia – Gainesville, Ga.) who struck out two of the four batters he faced in the ninth inning. AIA starter Zach Hedges (Azusa Pacific – Glendora, Calif.) struck out five in 5.0 innings, but was tagged with the loss after surrendering five runs – just three earned.
Hedges used a double play to work around a hit batter in the first frame, but AIA couldn’t muster the same result after allowing two singles to lead off the second. An error loaded the bases and Wellsville’s Pete Strommen (Eastern Illinois – Madison, Wisc.) cleared them with a one-out double. Hedges retired the next two batters to end the inning but the damage proved too much in the end.
AIA attempted to answer in the bottom of the first as Joe Belk (Azusa Pacific – Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) pushed across AJ Crosby (Edward Waters – Callahan, Fla.) on an RBI groundout for the first run scored of the season. Wellsville’s Anthony Galan (Brown – Watching, N.J.) induced another ground ball to end the inning and limited AIA to five hits and one earned run in 8.0 innings en route to his first win of the season.
Wellsville tallied single runs in the fourth and fifth before chasing Hedges, and added another in the eighth. Belk and Jordan Doherty (Mt. Vernon Nazarene – Powell, Ohio) scored during a mini AIA rally in the eighth but a pair of clutch strikeouts from Galan ended the threat.
Garrett Gooding (Point Loma Nazarene – Newhall, Calif.) and Jonathan Breneman (Westmont College – San Luis Obispo, Calif.) also pitched for AIA.
AIA continues New York Collegiate Baseball League action at home on Saturday, as the Niagara Power visit Basket Road Field at 7 p.m.