Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
WICHITA – The No. 25-ranked Friends University Falcons split a twinbill with the Bellevue (Neb.) University Bruins, winning the opener 6-2 before being tripped up 11-4 in the second game today at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita.
The loss is only the third for the Falcons in their last 20 games, who are now 26-11 overall and in second place in the KCAC with a 17-4 conference mark.
The big blow in the first game victory came from Troy Puga, who made his first career homer a memorable one, hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the third that put the Falcons up 5-0.
Following RBI doubles by Riley Baasch and JT Patterson in the fourth that got the Bruins on the board, the Falcons got a run back when Justin Fink led off the bottom of the frame with a single and scored on a single by Reily Carroll.
Jason Braziel started for Friends and kept rolling, turning in another quality start by striking out five and allowing only two runs in seven innings to run his record to a perfect 9-0 on the season.
Emilio Navarro was a perfect two-for-two in the first game for the Falcons.
The Bruins jumped on top early in the nightcap, getting a two-run double from Baasch, an RBI triple by Gary Dixon while also benefitting from an error to plate four runs in the first inning.
Trailing 5-0 in the third, the Falcons scored as Augie Isaacson singled to lead off the inning, stole his 25th base of the season and crossed the plate on a groundout by Carroll.
The Bruins added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before a pair of solo homers by JT Patterson and Travis Tanaka to key a three-run seventh frame.
An RBI single by Michael Behen and run-scoring groundout from Martin Casillas in the bottom of the seventh finished up the scoring for Friends.
Isaacson had two hits and scored twice in the second game for the Falcons, with Carroll driving home a pair of runs.
Alex Dafoe was the second game starter for the Falcons and lasted four innings, allowing six runs (four earned) and striking out three.
Tony Caporrimo came on for the next two innings and gave up two runs, while Ryan Stockwell pitched the seventh and was tagged for three runs.
Patterson and Tanaka each had three hits for the Bruins (22-17).
The Falcons will next host a NAIA Top 25 matchup Tuesday afternoon against No. 7-ranked USAO starting at 4 pm. Friends won the first tilt over the Drovers 13-9 back on Mar. 20 in Chickasha, Okla.