HARROGATE, TN -- The Lincoln Memorial University baseball team played their home opener Tuesday afternoon, finishing with a split in the doubleheader against traditional regional power, Northern Kentucky University. The Railsplitters took game one by a score of 8-5 and the Norse took the second game 5-2. LMU move to 5-8 on the season following the split.
Game One- Lincoln Memorial 8
Northern Kentucky 5
The Norse jumped out early with a three-run burst in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Cody Cooper walked to force home the first run of the ballgame. Kris Hecktor's sacrifice fly scored a second run and Patrick Hyde singled in the final run of that frame to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Railsplitters answered with a three-run rally in the bottom of the first frame. Joe Horsley led off with a double into the right-center gap. Three consecutive Railsplitters were forced on by the Norse pitcher to bring home a run and load the bases. Kyle Asher slapped an RBI single and a fielder's choice scored Curt Fuqua to round out the scoring as LMU tied the game at 3-3 after one.
LMU scored three more in the bottom of the second to grab the lead for good. That frame was highlighted by RBI singles from Gelson Perez and Nick Pressley.
The Railsplitters scored a run in the fourth and fifth inning to effectively put the game out of reach as they took game one by a score of 8-5.
Seth Woods picked up the win in his three innings on the mound in which he allowed three hits and two earned runs. Chris McCarter and Kyle Asher combined for four innings in relief and two earned runs. Nick Pressley led the Railsplitter offense with his 2-3 outing and two RBIs. Curt Fuqua crossed home three times in the game as LMU outhit the Norse 8-7 in the contest.
Game Two- Northern Kentucky 5
Lincoln Memorial 2
The Norse scored a run in the top of the first and second to take an early 2-0 advantage in the contest. The Railsplitters cut into that deficit in the bottom of the second. Curt Fuqua doubled to leadoff the inning and two consecutive sacrifice attempts forced Fuqua home.
The Railsplitters tied the game in the bottom of the fourth as Curt Fuqua powered a one-out triple into the left-center gap and Nick Pressley drove him home in the next at-bat with a sacrifice groundout to shortstop.
An error from the Railsplitters in the top of the fifth opened up a two-run rally for Northern Kentucky as they capitalized on the fielding mistake to take a 4-2 lead. They scored once more in the top of the sixth and the Railsplitters were unable to mount a comeback as they fell in game two 5-2.
Logan Sawyer was saddled with the loss as five different pitchers made an appearance in the contest for the Railsplitters, allowing a combined four earned runs and only three hits.
Curt Fuqua led the way for the Railsplitters offensively with his 2-3 outing. Nick Pressley and Kyle Asher notched the other two hits for LMU in the game.
The Railsplitters will be back in action on Friday, February 24th as they host the first of a three-game set with South Atlantic Conference foe, Anderson University. Game one is set for 4 p.m.
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