TUCSON, Ariz. (SabreAthletics.com) – Junior left hander, Sam Forkert, struck out 13 batters in a complete-game effort, but it wasn't enough as Bethany Lutheran College came away with the 4-3 victory, scoring twice in the bottom of the eight, to upend the Marian University baseball team at the Kino Sports Complex, this afternoon, March 14.
The Sabres entered the eighth with a 3-2 advantage, but the Vikings were able to scratch across two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead. BLC's Erik Kropp came on for four innings in relief and earned the win by retiring the last 10 Sabres he faced. Both teams finished with eight hits, while Adam Ryan led the Marian attack with a 2-for-3 effort.
Bethany Lutheran improved to 3-5 with the win, while Marian fell to 4-3 with the loss.
The Vikings took a first inning lead after Lucas Herd hit a one out double and eventually scored on Clint Aretz's two-out single through the left side.
The Sabres answered back in the second inning when Chad Langley led off with a double to left. Chase Eagan then walked with two outs to put runners on the corners. With Casey Seelow at the plate, Eagan stopped halfway between first and second and drew a throw, but it was off the mark and Langley broke for home plate and scored on a rare stolen base.
With the game tied, the Vikings got the run back in the bottom of the second when Cory Ferm blasted a home run to left center field to lead off the inning.
In the top of the third, Tony Grannis' one out triple to left center and came in to tie the game at 2-2 with Ryan's infield single to short.
Meanwhile, Forkert began to find his groove, throwing five straight scoreless innings through the seventh, while striking out eight batters over that span including the side in both the sixth and seventh innings.
In the decisive eighth after the Sabres went down in order, the number nine hitter, Mitch Sellers, doubled to left field to lead off the frame. The next batter, Joe Tuholsky then singled to left. The ball took a weird hop on the left fielder Dorn and skipped away, which allowed Sellers to score, tying the game at 3-3.
Herd then reached on a fielder's choice for the first out, but eventually came around to score when one of Seelow's throws back to the mound went awry. Herd broke for home and scored without a throw, giving the Vikings a 4-3 advantage. It was one that Kropp would not relinquish as he sat down the Marian ninth in order.
The Sabres will wrap up their Arizona trip, tomorrow, March 15, taking on Wesleyan University (Conn.) in a 10 a.m. local time, noon central time start from Tucson. Live stats and audio will be available.