BATESVILLE, Ark. – The 25th-ranked Lyon College baseball team was back on the offensive Friday afternoon as it headed into an Easter break on a high note, tallying 22 runs and 28 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Williams Baptist College, 8-0 and 14-1, at Scots Field.
With the double wins, Lyon clipped the 30-win mark on the season, improving to 30-7, while moving to an American Midwest Conference-best 15-1 and staying one-half game ahead of 17th-ranked Missouri Baptist (17-5, 11-0 AMC). The Spartans blanked Harris-Stowe State University twice on Friday, 1-0 and 14-0.
William Woods University (10-12, 6-6 AMC) is now seven full games behind Lyon after splitting with Benedictine University at Springfield (8-11, 5-5 AMC). The Owls lost Game 1, 7-1, before bouncing back for an 8-2 win. The Bulldogs are also seven games behind the Scots in the league standings.
Williams Baptist remained in sixth place in the eight-team race after the defeat. The Eagles fell to 9-24 on the year, 4-9 in conference play.
Lyon will now take a break from league play on Tuesday, visiting College of the Ozarks for a twinbill at 1 p.m. The Scots will then get set for its biggest series of the year next weekend when they host Missouri Baptist Friday (1 p.m.) and Saturday (12-noon), with doubleheaders both days. That series could go a long way toward deciding the AMC regular season champion – and automatic berth for the NAIA Division I national tournament – as Lyon will only have a pair of four-game conference series left, at Benedictine (April 13-14) and at William Woods (April 19-20).
The top five teams in the regular season race advance to the AMC Postseason Tournament in Springfield, Ill. in late April.
After blowing a seven-run lead in the sixth inning to Williams Baptist on Thursday, which gave the Scots their only league setback in 16 tries, the Scots left no doubts on Friday, by using both offensive power and strong defense.
First baseman Bryan Lynn led the Lyon attack, going 6-for-8 with three doubles, five runs batted in and a pair of runs scored. Designated hitter Jim Gossett was 4-for-6, with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Rightfielder Henry Castaigne continues to hit and run the bases well, finishing the day 4-for-7, with a triple, a double, three runs driven in, two stolen bases and three more runs scored. Shortstop Mark Armenteros had a 4-for-6 afternoon, with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored.
On the defensive side, Lyon committed just two errors in the two games, while Brenden Camp and Ben Neyen both picked up complete-game victories on the hill to improve their season records to a combined 11-3.
Lyon College 8, Williams Baptist 0 (Game 1)
Camp improved his season mark to 5-1 with an eight-hit shutout. The contest marked his first shutout and first complete-game performance of the year. He fanned three batters and did not surrender a walk as he threw 96 pitches.
Paul Keen (0-7) absorbed the loss for the Eagles, allowing eight earned runs on 13 hits, with a walk.
Six different Lyon players recorded multiple hits in the contest. Armenteros led the way with a 2-for-3 effort, tagging a double, while driving in two runs and scoring two more. Second baseman Roger Glaude went 2-for-3, with two runs and Castaigne had a 2-for-3 outing as well, picking up a double and crossing the plate once.
Colby Rogers, who leads the NAIA Division I nation in doubles, hit his 19th of the season, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Lynn added a 2-for-4 outing, with a double and two runs pushed in. Gossett also had two hits, while leftfielder Wesley Roberson posted a 1-for-3 effort and an RBI.
Jim Manney paced Williams Baptist with a perfect 3-for-3 effort, but the Eagles were outhit 13-8.
Lyon College 14, Williams Baptist 1 (Game 2)
Led by Lynn's perfect 4-for-4 effort at the dish and a superb pitching performance by Neyen, the Scots stopped the Eagles 14-1 in seven innings in Game 2.
Lynn blasted a pair of doubles, drove in three runs, scored a pair and stole one base, as Lyon outhit Williams Baptist 15-8 and the Scots tallied seven doubles and a triple in the game.
Armenteros went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, a stolen base and a RBI, Castaigne went 2-for-4 with a triple, a pair of stolen bases, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Gossett was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run batted in and another scored; leftfielder Colt Harmon went 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI a run scored; catcher Nathan Gutierrez went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a two-base hit; and Glaude went 1-for-4 with a double, a run batted in and one scored.
Blake Coffman paced Williams Baptist with a 2-for-2 effort, including a double.
Neyen (6-2) pitched his fourth complete game of the season, striking out nine to raise his season total to 48 in 53.1 innings. He gave up an unearned run, which will lower his team-leading 1.94 ERA, and gave up eight hits without a walk.
Dylan Disotell (3-2) pitched three innings for the Eagles and absorbed the loss. He gave up seven earned runs (10 total) on 10 hits, with four walks and a pair of strikeouts.