Panthers outlast weather and Bearcats for 12-2 win

OZARK, Mo. – The Drury Panthers outlasted two weather delays and put away Southwest Baptist 12-2 in seven innings on Friday at US Baseball Park in Ozark.
 
The day was originally scheduled for a doubleheader, but the threat of inclement weather moved Friday’s start time to noon and postponed the second game of the doubleheader to Saturday.
 
Drury raised their record to 26-9 and 11-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while the Bearcats fell to 7-28 and 2-12 in the GLVC.
 
The Panthers owned a 2-1 lead after two innings when the game was shut down for nearly 90 minutes by a weather delay. The two teams only played one inning when it was halted again for nearly an hour by lightning, rain and hail.
 
Drury starter Mason Meeks pitched through both re-starts to get the win and improve to 4-2. The sophomore from Lake Dallas, Texas, went all seven innings allowing six hits and two earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
 
“(Mason) said he wanted the ball and he said his arm felt good,” said Drury head coach Scott Nasby. “After that second delay, we were a little skeptical, but he wanted to get back in there and he was phenomenal for us today.”
 
The Panthers opened up a 3-2 lead with six runs in the sixth inning. Cooper Munro added to Drury’s lead, launching a two-run home run. Jackson Dierenfeldt then drove in two more runs with a double, and the Panthers got another RBI double from Brant Schaffitzel in addition to an RBI single from DJ McNew. 
 
Drury ended the game in seven innings with three more runs in the seventh. The Panthers got back-to-back bases-loaded walks from Wes Collins and Aaron Mann, then pinch-hitter Nikko Calabro sent a ball to the right-field fence to drive in the clinching run and give Drury a 12-2 win.
 
Carson Shaver, in the starting line-up for the 11th time this season, went 4 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored and a stolen base. Drury showed off their depth as nine different Panthers had at least one RBI in the game.
 
“It’s hard to write a line-up of nine because that means you have three guys that have played a lot and have had success and they have to sit,” said Nasby. “We’re trying to rotate some guys in and keep people sharp. Guys are going to have to trust their teammates and show up with a positive attitude and understand that when their time comes, they’re ready to go.”
 
The depth of their offense has already produced a single-season record for home runs in a season as Drury set the mark this series with 42 round-trippers. It tops the previous mark of 40, which was done through 58 games in 2015. The Panthers eclipsed that total in 38 games this season.
 
The series against Southwest Baptist concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon at US Baseball Park in Ozark.
 
 
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This article is provided by Drury University Athletics