BSC takes home opener between Top 10 teams

BSC second baseman Will Toner finished the
game 2-for-5 from the plate with two RBIs and
two runs scored.

Birmingham-Southern athletics photo

No. 7-ranked Birmingham-Southern defeated No. 10 LaGrange 10-6 in its home opener at Striplin Field on Tuesday night. The Panthers scored six runs in the first inning, setting the tone and creating a cushion for BSC for the remainder of the game. Birmingham-Southern was led by third baseman Preston Munns and second baseman Will Toner, who both recorded two RBIs each. Munns ended the game 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Toner finished 2-for-5 from the plate with two runs scored. Freshman right-hander Tristan Harvin, who put in three and one-third innings, got the start and the win. Ross James, John Michael Shirley and Richie Misischia all pitched in relief and shut down the LaGrange offense for the last five innings.

Virginia Wesleyan team sealed up a 10-5 victory over Mary Washington in the Marlins' home opener Tuesday afternoon. With the win, VWU is now 3-1 on the year while Mary Washington goes to 0-1. Freshman Doug Avery premiered in his first collegiate start, striking out eight through 4.0 innings and picking up the win. Classmate Adam Brooks would relieve him in the fifth, putting up 3.0 hitless innings. Andrew Lowe and Pizzanello teamed up to finish out the contest. Base running also played a big part in the win as the squad nabbed 10 bags. Deon Hammond, Brady Fallon and Brandon Kussmaul all finished with two.

Huntingdon scored 26 runs and put together 30 hits in a 15-3 and 11-8 sweep of Elmira at Posey Field. By prior agreement, both games were shortened to seven innings. Seniors Taylor Fought and Garrett Headley and sophomore Wes Powell combined for 15 hits, 11 RBIs and 16 runs in the two games. Fought was 6-for-8 with five RBIs and four runs in the doubleheader, Headley was 5-for-8 with one RBI, six runs and two doubles and Powell was 4-for-8 with five RBIs and six runs.

No. 15 Texas-Tyler junior Blake Maddox crushed a two-out, two-run home run in the first inning and Brandon Saddler allowed only one run through seven innings of work as the Patriots earned a 7-1 non-conference win over Millsaps on Tuesday at Twenty Field. The Patriots snapped a three-game losing streak of their own and ended a six-game winning streak by the Majors in their first road game of the season. Texas-Tyler would score all seven of their runs in the first two innings of play, including getting a two-run single by Jordan Antley in the second inning, a pair of RBI singles by Blake Wilson and Maddox and an RBI triple by Josh Burns. Texas-Tyler scored its seven runs on seven hits in the opening two innings and would finish the game with 10 total hits.

Whittier remained hot within non-conference play as they rolled to the 9-2 victory over Bates at Hugh B. Mendez Stadium. The Purple & Gold move to 5-3, 1-2 SCIAC and are currently 4-1 in non-conference bouts. Whittier started junior southpaw Justin Kottinger for the second time on the season and he pitched a gem going 6.0 innings strong giving up two runs on five hits en route to his first victory on the season.

Methodist scored five runs in the fifth inning on its way to a 7-6 victory against Washington and Lee at Armstrong-Shelley Field on Tuesday evening.  With the result, the Monarchs move to 6-1 on the season and have won five-straight contests, while the Generals drop to 4-2 overall. Tyler Carmen tossed 4.1 innings of relief and yielded two runs on four hits with four strikeouts to earn his second win of the year. Will Walker entered in the ninth and struck out two batters to earn his third save of the year.  Etrhan Carmack was 1 for 3 at the plate with two runs scored and a walk, while Alex Kachler scored once after reaching base four times via a walk.

Mitchell Caron was one of four different Spartans
that recorded two hits in the contest.
Castleton athletics photo

Down to its final two outs and trailing by one in the top of the ninth, Castleton found life and battled back to tie the game before scoring three more runs in the top of the 10th to stun defending national champion Cal Lutheran, 5-2, Tuesday afternoon at Ullman Stadium. Dillon Benham sparked the ninth-inning rally with a one-out single down the left field line. Aaron Smith entered the game as a pinch-runner and it was not long before he came racing home to score the game-tying run on a crucial double by Mitchell Caron. With the game hanging in the balance, Caron bashed his second game-tying double of the contest to straightaway center to score Smith all the way from first and send it to extra innings. The Spartans put the throttle down from there, tacking on three more runs on the strength of three hits in the top of the 10th to take their first lead of the game. Pat Mumford led off with a single to left center and was quickly in scoring position after Deagan Poland bunted him over to second. Freshman Matt Braman stepped up next and roped a line-drive RBI triple to left center for the ever-important, go-ahead run. Jonathan Lindau followed with an RBI single up the middle and came around to score on a passed ball to extend the Spartan lead to 5-2 heading into the bottom of the 10th.

Winning their fifth straight game, Berry earned a 5-0 shutout of the Emory Eagles on Tuesday night on the arm of freshman Spence Johns. Johns earned his first collegiate win, tossing 4.0 innings allowing just one hit and striking out four. Relievers Luke Crawford, Milan Sutaria and William Gibbons combined for a single hit and seven strikeouts to complete the victory.

Pfeiffer got over the .500 mark with a 13-8 victory at Greensboro. The Falcons pounded out 16 hits on the day and scored six times over the final two innings to come away with the win. Derek Perry had four hits and Kirby Lambert added three for Pfeiffer. Catcher Chaston Gordon drove in a career-high four runs, including the game-winner in the eighth inning. Jordan Eckard stayed hot, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two walks. Cameron Reid earned his first win of the year, tossing two perfect innings of relief with three punchouts.

Oglethorpe bounced back from a 6-0 early deficit to overtake the homestanding Piedmont Lions 9-8 at Loudermilk Field in Demorest. The Stormy Petrels used a 5-run fourth inning to facilitate the comeback, then came back again from an 8-7 deficit with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The victory improved the Petrels to 6-2 headed into their first SAA series of the season this weekend.

No. 16 Roanoke used a nine-run fourth inning on its way to a 14-2 win over Averett. Seven different Roanoke pitchers combined to allow just two runs and eight hits, none of which were for extra bases, while striking out a combined eight batters. Fletcher Mazzola was credited with the win for the Maroons after tossing two innings of relief where he gave up one hit and struck out two.

Eastern Mennonite's baseball men showed no signs of rust despite an 11-day break in games, pounding out 28 hits in a doubleheader sweep of seven-inning games. The two wins in the set against Juniata, rescheduled from last Saturday because of snow, push the Royals to 3-2 on the season. Just days removed from a week full of rain, snow and sleet, Eastern Mennonite celebrated a 70-degree day with the convincing victories, christening their remodeled ballpark complete with upgrades of a brick backstop, netting around home plate, expanded dugouts and a seating patio around the backstop.