Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
WICHITA – The Friends University Falcons walked off with a victory to complete a series sweep of the Peru State College Bobcats today at West Side Athletic Field and give head coach Adam Neisius his 500th career victory. The Falcons have won their first three games of the season for the first time since the 2017 season.
“A heart felt ‘thank you’ to all the players I’ve been lucky enough to coach over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be in college athletics for a long time,” Neisius said. “It’s a very humbling milestone.”
The Bobcats scored in the first inning of the nightcap and held that lead much of the way until Elerie Rivera led off the sixth with a single and scored the tying run on a one-out single by Wes Kuzminsky.
Closer Austin Eggleston came on and sit the Bobcats down in order to set the stage for Pryce Anderson to leadoff the bottom of the frame with a double, followed by pinch runner Tristen Saunders plating the game-winning tally on a single by Eric Escamilla.
The Falcons used four pitchers in the second game, with Mattingly Milledge starting and lasting three innings with one run allowed. Blake Robinson then followed that with a scoreless inning, striking out two batters to escape a runners on second and third jam with no outs jam.
Jacob Coogan then came on and fanned three hitters in a pair of scoreless frames for the Falcons.
Eggleston got the winning decision in the second game after picking up the save in the Falcons’ first two victories of the series.
Rivera was 2-of-3 for Friends, with the Bobcats getting two hits each from Hector Torres and Jackson Tingwald.
Daniel Santiago went the full 6.1 innings for Peru State, allowing two runs, with none earned and striking out six with two walks.
In the opening tilt, the Falcons (3-0) jumped on top in the bottom of the second with the benefit of RBI singles from Malik Melvin and Sam Engberg.
After the Bobcats (0-3) got on the board in the third inning, the Falcons answered when Berard singled home Engberg in the fifth.
The Falcons tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth as Max Coyt scored on a wild pitch.
Eggleston entered in the seventh to close out the win and allowed the first two batters to reach, but promptly retired the next three Bobcats to finish the victory.
Valenny De Los Santos started and went six innings, allowing just one run on one hit, with six strikeouts and six walks.
Berard was a perfect 3-of-3 in the first game for the Falcons, while Engberg went 2-of-3 at the plate.
“I thought we pitched well today, De Los Santos had a little hiccup in game one today but he was dominant for the most part,” Neisius said. “Offensively we took advantage of some mistakes and had some timely hitting. True freshman Mattingly Milledge gave us three quality innings in game two and the bullpen was excellent.”
“We struggled at the plate until the sixth and again took advantage of a couple mistakes to battle back for the sweep. We were fantastic all weekend on defense, to play error free on opening weekend was a big part of getting three wins.”
The Falcons will remain at home next weekend and host Texas A&M-Texarkana for a four-game series with noon doubleheaders Friday (Jan. 29) and Saturday (Jan. 30).