LAKELAND, Fla. – The Mount Union baseball team opened up play in the 2020 RussMatt Invitational by splitting a doubleheader with Waynesburg, dropping the first game 6-3 and then winning the second game 18-5 at Lake Bonny Park.
The first inning of game one saw both offenses start hot. Mount Union got the scoring started with an RBI groundout from Ryan Boyd (Wooster/Wooster) that brought home Dwayne Sumler (Indianapolis, Ind / Warren Central) from third to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
Waynesburg tied the ballgame up immediately in the bottom of the first. The Yellow Jackets played small ball when Chris Lee grounded out to third that brought home leadoff batter Vinny Monico.
Mount Union gained the lead right back in the top of the third after Nate Duliba (Berea / Berea-Midpark) doubled to the gap in right center that brought Sumler home from second. That was followed up by a double steal by Lou Cardona (Boardman / Boardman) stealing second which allowed Duliba to steal home and give the Raiders a 3-1 lead.
Waynesburg then broke up and scored five runs in the next three innings to give them a 6-3 lead. One of those runs came in the bottom of the sixth, Brandon Durbin hit a solo home run to left field off of Nolan Hassel (North Royalton / North Royalton) to give Waynesburg their first lead of the day, 4-3.
Mason Miller pitched a complete game for the Yellow Jackets, giving up four hits, three runs, five walks, and striking out 13 batters.
Mount Union's starter Carson Davis (Louisville) went 4.1 innings of work, giving up seven hits, three runs, two walks, and struck out three.
In game two, Waynesburg struck first in the top of the first inning, but then the Raiders came right back and broke out for nine runs in the bottom of the first. The inning was highlighted by a Shawn Baker (Uniontown / Lake) grand slam to left, and a Duliba three-run RBI double to right. It all added up to a 9-1 Mount Union lead after the first.
The nine-run first inning was the most runs in an inning since 11 runs in a 16-14 win at Baldwin Wallace back on April 18, 2014.
Ryan Boyd (Wooster) then made it double digits for Mount Union with a home run to deep left, his first of the season, in the bottom of the second.
Brian Livolsi (McMurray, Pa / Peters Township) and Baker then added to the home run parade in the bottom of the third inning. Livolsi had a three run bomb to straight away center field, and then Baker added to his RBI total with a two-run blast to deep left field.
Mount Union starting pitcher Dylan Eaton (Amherst / Amherst Steele) was solid in his first start of his Mount Union career. He threw four complete innings, giving up just four hits, one run, walked one, and struck out four.
Mount Union would then tack on three more runs in the fourth to give themselves an 18-1 lead. The 18 runs the Raiders put up were the most in a single game since last season on March 24, 2019 when they won 18-6 at Hiram College.
The Raiders move to 2-2 after the doubleheader. They will travel to Auburndale, Florida tomorrow to face North Park (Ill.).