FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Oscar Kutch's two-run single keyed a five-run third inning and junior closer Ian Kinney got seven outs at the end of the game as the Tufts University baseball team remained undefeated (6-0) with an 8-5 win at Methodist University on Wednesday.
|Ian Kinney got the final seven outs in a row for the save|
The host Monarchs scored three times against Jumbo starter Tim Superko in the bottom of the second. Will May and Clay Richardson had back-to-back rbi singles, and then Mathias Carter followed with a run-scoring double.
The Jumbos answered in the next half-inning with Harry Brown, Harrison Frickman and Will Shackelford leading off with consecutive singles. Tom Petry forced home a run with a walk, then Kutch followed with his two-rbi base hit. Nick Falkson continued a hot spring trip with an rbi single giving the Jumbos a lead (4-3) they would not relinquish. Tufts loaded the bases again and Brown worked a walk to give the visitors a 5-3 advantage.
Methodist closed the gap to one, 5-4, in the bottom of the fifth as Brennan Brown hit a two-out double and Lucas Scott followed with a double scoring Brown. However, the Jumbos got the run right back in the sixth as Brown led off with a single, went to second on a single by Ryan Day, took third on Shackelford's base hit and scored on a squeeze bunt by Petry.
The Monarchs again narrowed the margin to one, 6-5, with a single run in the seventh. Carter led off the inning with a walk, took second on a single by Brown, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Tucker Criswell singled. Kinney entered for the Jumbos with two outs and two on in the seventh. He ended the inning with a pop-up, then put the hosts down 1-2-3 in both the eighth and ninth. Four of his outs were by strikeout.
Tufts had added a pair of important insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Kutch and Tommy O'Hara singled, with the former scoring on a Falkson single and the latter coming across when Mike McLaughlin singled.
All of Tufts' 16 hits were singles, led by Falkson's 3 for 5 day with two rbis. Kutch was 2 for 5 with two rbis and two runs, while Brown finished 2 for 4 with two runs and an rbi. McLaughlin and Shackelford also had two hits. Senior Matt Rothstein earned the win in relief after going 1.1 innings allowing two hits and no runs.
Brown (2 for 5, run), Lucas Scott (2 for 5, rbi), Davis Cass (2 for 3, run) and May (2 for 4, rbi, run) were Methodist's offensive leaders. The Monarch's used eight pitchers with Kevin Williams taking the loss.
Tufts is off tomorrow before continuing its trip on Friday at Lynchburg. Methodist (13-12) hosts North Carolina Wesleyan in a USA South series starting on Friday.