DAYTON, Tenn. -- Indiana Wesleyan University baseball is off to its best start in four years under head coach Chad Newhard. IWU split a pair of games on Saturday to go 3-1 at the Tennessee Valley Invitational in Dayton and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Indiana Wesleyan won their third straight game to open the season with a 15-2 bashing of Asbury (Ky.) University. Tennessee Temple then defeated Indiana Wesleyan 4-3 for the team's first loss of the season.
Ryne Brown was the story of the game with Asbury (0-7). The starter took a no-hitter deep into the game until the Asbury catcher broke it up with a leadoff single in the sixth inning. By then, Indiana Wesleyan had built a 13-0 lead.
Right fielder Craig Dollens scored the first run of the game on a balk in the second inning. Shortstop Josh Ellis later singled home a run for a 2-0 Indiana Wesleyan lead after two. IWU added another run in the third from a RBI double by left fielder Peter Engle.
In the fourth, Indiana Wesleyan took complete control of the game with a five run inning. DH Quinn Nofziger drilled a two-run double while catcher Alex Ridlen tacked on a run scoring single. Nofziger and courtesy runner Trey Shigley later scored on an error for an 8-0 lead.
Runs kept coming in the fifth as Nofziger, Ridlen and Dollens each collected an RBI. Nofziger crossed the plate on a wild pitch while Dollens scored on an error as Indiana Wesleyan earned a 13-0 advantage. Dollens's RBI single in the sixth was the final run for the Wildcats in the 15-2 victory.
In the final game of the weekend, catcher Javier Aponte was able to put the Wildcats in the lead with a sac fly during the second inning while Leftfielder Seth White later singled Aponte home for a 2-0 lead. Tennessee Temple cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom half of the second.
Ridlen, the DH in the second game, put Indiana Wesleyan back on top by two with a RBI groundout in the third. But Tennessee Temple answered with two runs in the home half as the score was tied 3-3 after three. Tennessee Temple scored the eventual game-winning run in the fifth inning.
Indiana Wesleyan starting pitcher was sophomore lefty Christ Tyler and IWU earned seven steals in the loss.
The Wildcats return to the field next weekend versus Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University in Nashville, Tennessee. The teams will play a single nine inning game on Friday followed by a doubleheader on Saturday.