Story by Sewanee student-athlete Ryan Tillman
SEWANEE, Tenn. (March 11, 2017) – The Sewanee baseball team got off to its best conference start since 2006 with a doubleheader sweep of Southern Athletic Association (SAA) rival Millsaps, Saturday, at historic Montgomery Field.
The Tigers captured a 3-2 win in the first game and then won the second contest 5-2. The Tigers are now 2-0 to start SAA play. Sewanee also won a series against Millsaps for the first time since prior to 1994.
Game One—Sewanee 3, Millsaps 2
For the fourth straight game, starter Drew Mancuso was outstanding. Coming off a complete game win against Earlham last week, the Tiger ace repeated his performance by going the distance while relinquishing zero runs in his final eight innings of work. The junior displayed excellent mental toughness by striking out batters to end the top seventh and ninth innings. Mancuso surrendered just five hits and one walk to earn his fourth win of the year.
After two costly errors that allowed two runs to score in the first inning, the Tigers fought hard at the plate. Sewanee made up for its fielding miscues when Jackson Cooper and Derek Hullings completed a double steal of second and home in the fifth inning. That cut the Millsaps lead to one. Later in the seventh inning, Cooper again took advantage of his speed, scoring on a wild pitch.
That set up the drama in the bottom on the ninth. Ryan Poole led off the inning with a double down the third base line. Hullings then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt toward the left side of the field, which advanced Poole to third. With one out and the game on the line, Millsaps elected to intentionally walk the next two Tiger hitters, bringing up the hot bat in Jared Demkowicz. The freshman waited patiently to get ahead in the count, and then smacked a ball high in the air to right field, easily scoring Poole from third and securing the Sewanee walk-off victory.
Game Two—Sewanee 5, Millsaps 2
The second game on a frigid afternoon in Sewanee saw starter Harrison Lee toss 4.1 solid innings. Lee allowed just one earned run and struck out two.
The Tiger bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth, blowing the game open. With two outs and the bases loaded, shortstop Trey Akins lined a shot up the middle to bring home Riley Brandvold and Poole. Mancuso then laced a double into the right center gap, which tacked on two more runs. Mancuso was then brought home by a single off the bat of Beau Allen, increasing the run total to five.
Freshman Jackson Cook earned the win after he pitched two innings of one-run ball when he entered the game in the fifth. After the Majors threatened in the bottom seventh, Sewanee Head Coach David Jenkins made the call to bring in Tyler Minkkinen, who was able to record the final two outs of the contest.
Sewanee and Millsaps will wrap up the three-game series with a 1:00 p.m. contest, Sunday.
For more information on Sewanee Athletics, please visit www.SewaneeTigers.com. You can also check the Tigers out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.