It’s been a long time since I shot my last sporting event and I honestly forgot how much fun it can be.
This past Friday, April 5, I got the opportunity to shoot Wayne State baseball in their game versus Purdue Northwest and even though the box score may show a fairly average baseball game, it was a tense back and forth with highs and lows for both teams.
Upon showing up to the game about an hour early, I immediately noticed a crowd of professionally dressed men near the bullpen in right field. I later learned that today’s starting pitcher for Wayne State, Hunter Brown, is being scouted by several major league teams and is likely to get chosen in this year’s draft.
Purdue Northwest’s Kyle Flessner matched Brown with zeroes until the fourth inning when Purdue Northwest pulled ahead with a run-scoring single from Kevin McCune.
Wayne State answered in the bottom half of the inning with a run-scoring single of their own by Tristen Jorah, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie.
Purdue Pulled ahead once again in the top of the sixth inning after an RBI single and an error by Wayne State right fielder Hunter DeLanoy.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Jacob Finkbeiner hit a long fly ball off the left field wall. Head coach Ryan Kelly came out to argue that Purdue’s catcher didn’t have possession of the ball as he attempted to tag Finkbeiner crossing home plate. Kelly remained on the field, protesting the call for several minutes before conceding back to the dugout for the seventh inning.
Wayne State’s bats finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning, sparked by a bases loaded walk by catcher Justin Kelly, lowering Wayne State’s deficit to 3-2. Freshman Rudy Ramirez then came off the bench and delivered a long 2-run single off the left field wall, scoring Jorah and DeLanoy. Following a wild pitch, passed ball, and a fielders’ choice, second basemen Noah Miller drove another 2-run single to left center to give the Warriors a 6-3 lead.
Following the rally, left hander Brennan Cox came in for the Warriors to pitch the eighth and ninth innings to earn his first career save.
Wayne State is now 23-8 overall and 7-5 in GLIAC play. After the series with Purdue Northwest, the Warriors are 22nd in NCAA Division II baseball rankings.