OZARK, Mo. – A day after being limited to just three runs off five hits, the Raven Baseball team exploded in the bottom of the first against Avila University in the second elimination game of the 2017 Heart Baseball Championship.
Benedictine (34-21) plated eight runs off five hits in their first at-bat as they chased Avila (30-25) starting pitcher Kyle Singer after two-thirds of a inning en route to a 12-9 win over the Eagles.
The Ravens eight-run inning was capped off with a piece of program history as Matthew Jarecki connected on a 3-run home run to move into sole possession on top of the Ravens single-season home run list with 21. The win also marked the first postseason win for second-year head coach Anthony Everman.
Benedictine started their big first inning with a pair of doubles from Jarecki and Daryl Myers. Jarecki scored on the Myers double and Myers later scored on a wild pitch. The Ravens scored their remaining six runs with two outs after an error by Singer. Before Jarecki returned to the plate for his to cap off the innings, Logan Elliott recording an RBI single, Brandon Barringer recorded a two-RBI single and then Elliott and Michael Kruse - courtesy running for Barringer - scored on the home run by Jarecki.
After giving up another run in the top of the second, the Ravens responded with a three-run third as Austin Watamaniuk scored on a fielder's choice before Michael Slate recorded a two-run double to drive in Jarecki and Myers. The scoring continued for the Ravens in the fourth as they scored their 12th run of the game on the second RBI single of the bat of Elliott.
The run in the fourth would the Ravens last as the Eagles bullpen combined to hold the Ravens scoreless off two hits over the final three and two-thirds innings.
Connor Leach was credited with the win for the Ravens as he was deemed to be the most effective in relief of Michael Slaten. Slaten earned the start and gave up seven runs off nine hits over four and two-thirds – one out under the minimum required for the decision.
Jarecki finished the game with three RBIs and three runs scored while Myers, Slaten, Elliott and Barringer all added two RBIs each.
Benedictine returns to US Baseball Park at 10 a.m. Sunday as they take on Grand View University to remain alive in the Heart Championship. Grand View was sent to the consolation bracket after dropping a 6-2 game to top-seeded Clarke University.