Gross’ Cycle Highlights Baseball’s Sweep of Maranatha

Gross’ Cycle Highlights Baseball’s Sweep of Maranatha

FRANKLIN, Wisconsin – Junior Nick Gross hit for the cycle in game two and also homered in the opener as the MSOE baseball team scored 52 runs in sweeping Maranatha in a pair of seven-inning games Tuesday afternoon at The Rock Complex.

The Raiders (17-14) set the tone by scoring 11 times in the first inning of game one on their way to a 25-3 victory. They then posted a 10-run second inning in game two as part of a 27-3 win over the Sabercats (0-14).

MSOE collected 39 hits over the two games, adding 18 walks and 11 hit batters for a team on-base percentage of .624 for the day.

Gross led the offensive barrage with seven hits on the day, driving in eight runs and scoring eight times. Freshman Justin Bickman had nine RBIs on the day with six hits and six runs scored over the two games.

Four more players drove in at least five runs, as junior Kyle Davis scored seven times and tallied seven RBIs thanks to a game-one three-run double and a grand slam off the scoreboard in game two. Freshman Julian Sonn also hit a grand slam in the second game and finished the day with six RBIs.

In game one, each of the first 10 batters reached base safely, leading to eight runs before the first out. The Raiders would tack on three more runs with two outs to take an 11-0 lead. They scored two more runs in the second inning and a lead-off home run by Gross sparked a four-run third inning for a 17-0 lead.

Maranatha pulled back a pair of runs in the fourth inning but the Red & White scored three more times in the bottom of the inning to reach 20 runs. In the fifth inning, the visitors scored once more in the top of the frame and posted their only clean inning in the bottom half.

MSOE would then scored five more times in the sixth inning to cap the game's scoring.

Sophomore Nathan Tremore (1-2) got the start on a staff pitching day, earning the win with 3.1 innings of work. He struck out three and allowed just three hits and two runs. Junior Matt Mohapp, senior Nathan Sliefert, and freshman Cole Raines also took the mound to combine on 3.2 innings of two-hit relief.

The Sabrecats took their only lead of the day in game two, courtesy of a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. The advantage would be short-lived as Gross leveled the score at 2-2 with a two-out, two-run double in the home half of the inning.

Gross would collect a hit in each of the first innings to complete his cycle. During the 10-run second inning, he had an RBI single. He led off the five-run third inning with a home run and then sparked a seven-run fourth inning with a lead-off triple on a towering drive that deflected off the top of the wall.

The score was 24-2 after four innings before MBU got on the board again with a single run in the fifth. MSOE would go on to finish the day with two more runs in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth.

After allowing the first inning home run, senior Owen Burnikel (1-0) settled down and had a strong first pitching outing of the season. He struck out four over 3.0 innings and did not walk a batter. Raines followed him to the mound with a dominant fourth inning in which he struck out the side on 10 pitches. He finished with four strikeouts and a run allowed over 2.0 innings.

Sophomore Justin Celeski added a 1-2-3 sixth inning on just six pitches and sophomore Jaden Doornink struck out one in a hitless seventh.

All 14 active and healthy field players saw action in both games and reached base safely at least once, with 12 different players collecting hits. Thirteen players scored at least one run and 12 drove in runs.

The Raiders have return to action with their final non-conference game of the season Thursday at Division I Milwaukee.

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