Illinois Wesleyan rallies in ninth to nip Vikings

Illinois Wesleyan rallies in ninth to nip Vikings

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- The Illinois Wesleyan University baseball team rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth Sunday to pull out a 12-9 nonconference victory over Lawrence University.

The three runs in the ninth capped a back-and-forth contest that saw the teams combine for 10 runs in the final three innings.

Garrett Shea went 3-for-5 with a homer four runs batted in to pace Illinois Wesleyan's 14-hit attack.

Andrew Lauber went 3-for-4, scored two runs and drove in a pair for the Vikings (0-3). Matt Holliday and Patrick McDonnell had two hits apiece for Lawrence, and Travis Weber, Rudy Mueller-Schrader and Mike Brady all drove in a pair of runs.

Jon Vlk worked the final two innings to get the win, and rookie Ethan Jones pitched the ninth for the Vikings and took the loss.

After the Vikings threw a runner out at home in the top of the ninth to preserve a 9-9 tie, Tim Smyk smacked a run-scoring double, and Shea followed with a two-run double to put the Titans ahead for good. Lawrence went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Illinois Wesleyan (3-0) scored five in the first to take command, but the Vikings countered with six in the third to take a 6-5 lead. Weber and Mueller-Schrader both had two-run doubles in the inning, and Lauber had a run-scoring double.

The Titans scored three in the top of the seventh to take an 8-6 lead, but Brady delivered a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning to tie it at 8-8. The teams both scored single runs in the eighth to set up Illinois Wesleyan's rally in the ninth.