Vincennes University’s offense sputtered through the first seven innings against Harper (Ill.) on Friday, but pitcher Ryan Robison didn’t need too much support.
The freshman southpaw shut out the Hawks through eight innings, and the Trailblazers erupted for six runs in the eighth to ease past Harper, 8-1, at Jerry Blemker Field.
The victory gives VU (13-7) 10 wins in its last 11 outings. The Blazers were slated to continue their weekend series with Harper today and Sunday, but with rain in the forecast Sunday, VU is facing the Hawks for a 3 p.m., doubleheader today.
Robison pitched into the ninth before exiting after allowing a lead-off walk and a double. Austin Walden earned the final three outs, working a strikeout and a pair of groundouts while allowing one inherited runner to score. Robison struck out 10 in his eight-plus
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innings of work, scattering eight hits and two walks, but he only gave up two hits after the third inning, facing just one over the minimum from the fourth through eighth innings.
“Early on (Robison) made some adjustments. He was up in the zone early, but the second half of the game, he did a good job of working down in the zone, throwing a lot of strikes and letting the defense work for him,” VU coach Chris Barney said. “He worked out of some jams early. Waldo came in with two on and no outs, and he only let one score while getting the final three outs of the game.”
The game was scoreless until the sixth. Walker Paris got it started with a one-out single, Robison walked and Trent Weiss singled to load the bases. Luke Stock bunted home the game’s first run with a squeeze play, and Max Flock plated Robison with a single.
The score remained 2-0 until the eighth. Treven Madden drove in two runs with a single, and Paris had an RBI-double to highlight the frame.
“They ran a frontline arm out there, and that kid did a nice job against us for the first five or six innings,” Barney said. “It was their first game, so they didn’t want to extend him too far, and we were able to take advantage of some of their guys in the bullpen. Our offense did a nice job of stepping up the second half of the game.”
Madden, Paris, Weiss and Sean Becker each singled twice, and Robison, Isaiah Davis and Brian Campbell added hits.
On Thursday, Lincoln Trail outhit the Blazers, 11-7, but VU held the host Statesmen scoreless in eight of the nine frames to snag a 6-4 road victory.
Weiss led the attack with a double, single and two RBIs, and Robsion homered with a single. Paris was the winning pitcher in two innings of relief, surrendering no runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Lincoln Trail tagged VU starter Kacey Cheek for four runs in the third inning, but all four tallies were unearned as a two-out error with two runners on base extended the frame. The four-run frame for the Statesmen came after the Blazers put up two in the second inning when Weiss doubled home Robison and Davis singled in Weiss.
VU made it a 4-3 deficit when Robison led off the fourth with a homer, and the Blazers took the lead for good in the sixth when Adam Quigley and Paris singled to start the inning, and they both came around to score on a collection of wild pitches. VU added a final tally in the eighth when Paris drew a two-out walk, Robison singled and Weiss drove in Paris with a hit.
Cheek yielded four unearned runs on six hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Luke Lancaster hurled the final three innings to earn the save, giving up two hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Harper |000 000 001 — 1 8 3
Vincennes |000 002 06x — 8 13 0
W-Robison. 2B-H, R. Smith; V, Paris.
Vincennes |020 102 010 — 6 7 2
Lincoln Trail |004 000 000 — 4 11 1
W-Paris. L-Spencer. S-Lancaster. 2B-V, Weiss; LT, Bault 2, Gallagher, Shellenbarger. HR-V, Robison.