FRANKFORT, Ky. – After a doubleheader split on Friday, Urbana University baseball clinched the weekend series at Kentucky State with a 9-6 victory.
The Blue Knights, who improved to 5-8 overall, went up 7-0 through three-and-a-half innings and held off the Thorobreds’ comeback bid. Right-hander Vitor Takakura picked up his first win in a Blue Knight uniform, going four innings with three strikeouts, three walks, five hits allowed and three earned runs.
Senior Jackson Everman made his season debut by tossing three hitless innings in relief and Robbie Guerrero III remained solid out of the bullpen to earn his second save.
Damario Brown (2 for 2; 3B, 3 R), Brent West (2 for 5; 2 RBI), Mickey Barea (2 for 4; 3 RBI, 2B) and Zeth Tanner (2 for 3; 2B, RBI) produced eight of UU’s nine hits while Isac Franklin singled.
The Blue Knights out-hit the Thorobreds 9-8 and drew nine walks, but UU left 12 runners on base to allow KSU an opportunity to make it close.
UU got on the board with West’s RBI single in the first, which extended the senior’s reached base streak to 17 games dating back to last season. West finished the three-game series batting 7 for 12 (.583) with four doubles, eight RBI and four runs scored.
Then, the Knights plated two in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth for the seven-run advantage. However, KSU responded quickly with three in the fourth and two in the fifth to make it 7-5 UU after five complete frames.
That’s when Everman took over and retired nine of 10 batters he faced. Despite not allowing a hit, KSU pushed one unearned run across in the seventh to make it a one-run game, 7-6, as Everman walked the leadoff batter who eventually came around on a throwing error.
The UU offense came through with back-to-back, clutch two-out hits to tack on two insurance runs in the top of the eighth. After being held to one hit across the previous three frames, Barea reignited the attack with a single to bring home Brown and then Tanner immediately followed with a double to score West.
Guerrero surrendered a leadoff double in KSU’s final at-bat, but registered a strikeout and line-out double play to secure the win.
UU opens conference play when in it travels to Wise, Virginia, for a Saturday doubleheader (1 p.m.) against UVa-Wise. UU will then travel to Concord for another league doubleheader (1 p.m.) on Sunday.