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Quinones’s no-hitter, grand slam propel Eagles to sweep

HECTOR QUINONES, a senior on the Midway University baseball team, made two kinds of history on Saturday, March 18, against Ohio Christian University. Quinones hit the first-ever grand slam in Midway baseball history, while also throwing a no-hitter in the same game. (Photo courtesy of Midway Univ. Athletics)

In just its 24th game as a program, the Midway University baseball team accomplished a feat on Saturday, March 18, that sometimes takes team’s years to achieve – a no-hitter. It happened in the second game of a doubleheader with Ohio Christian University at Chandler Field. Senior Hector Quinones allowed just four base runners without allowing a hit in his first career no-hitter. To add to his already memorable night, the Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, native also hit the first-ever grand slam in Midway baseball history. The first game of the doubleheader needed extra innings to complete. Tied 4-4, the game went into the 10th inning where the Eagles scored eight runs to earn a 12-4 victory. In the second game, behind Quinones’s strong pitching, Midway shut out OCU, 11-0. With the two-game sweep on Saturday, the Eagles finished a four-game sweep of the Trailblazers after winning the first two games on Thursday, March 16, in Circleville, Ohio. After dropping its first seven games of the season, Midway head coach Luther Bramblett’s team has stayed the course and now hold a 12-12 record. More importantly, the Eagles are 9-3 in River States Conference play. Game 1: Midway 12, Ohio Christian 4 The Eagles got on the board first by playing long ball in the second inning. Junior Danny Maguire took a 3-2 pitch to the opposite field, sending it over the left field fence for his first home run of the season. After the Trailblazers scored three unearned runs in the third, the Eagles battled back and took a 4-3 lead after scoring three runs in the fifth. Senior Josh Wenning opened the inning with a double and freshman Matthew Olson reached on a walk. After a fly-out, junior Barrett Croslin ripped a triple to right-center field that scored Wenning and Olson. Croslin then scored on a wild throw by the shortstop. The lead stood until the sixth inning when Ohio Christian tied the game with a run on two hits. After both teams got valuable innings out of their bullpens, the Midway offense came through in a big way with eight runs in the top of the 10th inning to walk away with the 12-4 win. In that 10th inning, the Eagles batted around, sending 14 batters to the plate with seven picking up base hits. Tyler Jones and sophomore Koy Lindsey each had two RBIs in the inning, while Olson and Quinones each had one. Tyler Jones picked up the win in a relief effort. The junior tossed three innings allowing just two hits and striking out three. Junior DJ Lewis started the game and lasted 2.2 innings allowing three unearned runs on one hit. Derek Jones replaced Lewis out of the bullpen and allowed one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work on the mound. The senior also fanned six batters. Sophomore Neal Kirkpatrick pitched a scoreless 10th inning to close out the win. Game 2: Midway 11 Ohio Christian 0 Just like the first game, the Eagles got on the board first with a run in the second inning. Junior Carlos Cespedes walked to lead off the inning and three batters later, sophomore Francisco Quinonez ripped a single to score Cespedes. The one-run lead would be all that Quinones needed, but he decided to help his own cause in the fourth inning when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no one out. The senior crushed the first pitch he saw over the center-field fence for a grand slam. The Eagles went on to add a run later in the inning on an RBI double by junior Haden Fox. Midway then continued to add to their lead with a run in the sixth and four in the seventh. In the sixth, the Eagles played long ball again. This time it was Fox, who hit his first home run of the season. The junior turned on a 1-0 pitch and sent it over the left-field fence. Then in the seventh, the Eagles got a two-run double from freshman Scott Heideman scoring seniors Reid Battles and Josh Wenning, while freshman Francis Mejia added a single scoring Olson. Heideman then came around to score on a wild pitch. The runs were more than enough for Quinones, who had a great day on the mound. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before hitting a batter in the fourth. He allowed two base runners in the seventh, but got a fly out to end the game, completing one of the rarest feats in the baseball – a no-hitter. All in all, Quinones retired 21 of the 25 batters he faced with eight going down on strikes. Up next: Midway is scheduled to host Cincinnati Christian (Ohio) in a four-game series starting on Friday, March 24, at Chandler Field. There will be a doubleheader on Friday starting at 1 p.m., then another twinbill on Saturday at noon, weather permitting. (Information courtesy of Dylan Brown/Midway Univ. Sports Information)

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