Thunder take series over Hillsdale

Manhattan, KS - In their second straight home series of April the Manhattan Christian College Thunder baseball team hosted the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College Saints (Moore, OK) Friday and Saturday for a four-game series. 

The Saints and Thunder split a double-header back in early March in Moore, both games being low scoring affairs, with Manhattan taking the first game 2-0, and Hillsdale evening the series with a 2-1 victory in extra innings in the second game. 

Of the four games, one went to extra innings and all four ended with the winning team having no more than three runs of a lead. Tight games is what both squads have come to expect when facing off with the other, and this series proved to be much of the same.

GAME 1: 

Behind a complete game from sophomore starting pitcher Isaiah Katherein, the Thunder were able to play sound defensively throughout the first game of the series. 

Despite a rather lackluster game at the plate offensively, Manhattan relied on strong defensive play all around to pull out the series opening victory. Freshman Gerardo Questell had a team high 8 putouts, and the team as a whole only recorded a single error in the seven inning bout. 

Only recording four total hits in the game, the Thunder relied on timely walks and great baserunning to score their two runs in the game. A run in the fifth by the Saints gave Manhattan a bit of a scare, but Katherein was able to maintain throughout the remainder of the game to lead the Thunder to an opening series victory. 


The second game of Friday evening saw a much more offensively driven Saints team challenge freshman starting pitcher Gerardo Questell. Questell went five innings throwing 91 pitches and giving up just two runs. 

Unlike the first game, the defensive side of things for Manhattan proved to be their demise in this one, as they recorded six errors as a team, a few of which came at inopportune times. 

The Saints recorded just two more total hits in the game than the Thunder, but the timeliness of the hits, paired with their ability to run the bases and drive runs in was the difference. Weston Ward went 3/5 at the plate and drove in a run while JW Moore went 1/2 and drove in two runs for the Saints. 

In relief of Questell, senior Ben Rankin gave up six runs on five hits while being charged with three errors in his two innings on the mound. 

The Saints took the second game of the series with a final score of 8-5. 


In game number three the Thunder ran through a slew of pitchers, but were able to rely on strong performances from their relief staff to help take a commanding 2-1 series lead over Hillsdale. 

Freshman Landry Anders earned the start in this one but was unable to gain any traction on the mound, as he went 4.1 innings giving up seven runs on six hits and being charged with two errors. 

His relief, freshman Kellen Quick contributed 1.2 quality innings before being replaced by Isaiah Katherein before freshman Steven Paniagua eventually closed the game out with 18 quick pitches to retire the side in the final inning. 

At the plate, Manhattan was very efficient yet again recording nine runs on just eight hits throughout the game. Freshman Juan Carlos Perez had a big day at the plate going 3/3 and scoring two runs, while fellow freshman Gerardo Questell went 2/4 and drove in three runs.

The Saints made a late push in the top of the seventh tying the game at 8, but a walk-off by the Thunder ensued in the bottom of the eighth to earn Manhattan their second win of the series, with a final score of 9-8. 

GAME 4: 

In the final game of the series, Manhattan was able to come out strong in the first inning behind patience at the plate and great base running. They were able to respond to the single run put up in the top of the first by the Saints, and amass a quick 5-1 lead heading in to the second.

Thunder starting pitcher, senior Ben Rankin would give up two more runs in the second but from there gained his composure and shut the Saints out for the remainder of the game. Rankin pitched a complete game giving up just three runs on nine hits and being charged with a single error. 

At the plate, the Thunder were able to have consistent play from all around seeing four players record a hit, with a fifth recording two hits in the game. Patience at the plate was key, as Manhattan was able to put five runners on base with walks. Two runs batted in a piece for both freshman Matthew Zecha and Juan Carlos Perez helped the Thunder earn the victory in the final game of the series. 

Manhattan went on to take game number four, and the series with a final score of 5-3. 


The Thunder will be back in action April 15-17 as they travel south to Grambling, LA for a three-game series with Grambling State University. 

MCC Scoreboard

2/29/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 4 Randall University | W, 88-73 (OT)
2/28/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 3 Arlington Baptist College | W, 94-86 
2/26/2020 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 7 Ozark Christian College | W, 89-72 
2/22/2020 | Mens Basketball No. 2 Barclay College | W, 91-80 
2/21/2020 | Womens Basketball No. 6 Faith Baptist Bible College | L, 67-62