After a home opening 15-12 loss to the visiting Tigers from Salem International University on Friday night, the Urbana University baseball team regrouped and took the next game in the series on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Knights won 3-2 on a walk-off bases loaded 2-run single by Drew Ryan, but the Tigers bounced back to take the rubber game 6-4 after scoring the go-ahead runs in the final inning.
Urbana's Drew Ryan continued his torrid pace to start the season. In addition to the game-winning hit in Game 1, the junior third baseman scored Urbana's first run after a lead-off double in the bottom of the first. He finished 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. He's hitting a team-high .465 after the first 13 games this season.
Junior catcher Robert Tavone Jr. drove in the Blue Knights only other run on a first inning sac fly. Senior ace Tom Piatt pitched all seven innings to pick up his team-leading third victory of the season. Piatt allowed just 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking just one batter.
Game 2 began the same way for the Blue Knights. Ryan reached on a leadoff hit, and Tavone Jr. drove him in. The home team took a 2-0 first inning lead when another run crossed the plate after a Tiger throwing error.
The Tigers briefly surged into the lead after a pair of Urbana errors led to three SIU runs in the top of the third. The Blue Knights tied the game at 3-3 on Aaron Bingham's RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
After SIU scored another go-ahead run on an error in the fifth, Urbana again answered with the equalizer in the bottom of the inning. Greg Liming's line drive to left field plated Ryan with the Blue Knights' fourth run.
The Tigers broke another tie with a pair of sac flies in the top of the seventh, and this time, Urbana did not have an answer. The Blue Knights brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but Tiger starter Myles Swartz got out of the jam to earn his first win of the season.
The teams were originally scheduled to play two more on Sunday afternoon, but continued poor weather forced the cancellation of the series finale. Urbana’s (8-5) next action will come on Tuesday at the #7 ranked team in the nation, regional rival Indianapolis. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.