Captains Upset in Wild Game at Bridgewater, 13-12
BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- In a game that featured 25 runs, 32 hits, nine errors and eight extra-base hits, it would all come down to the final at-bat as Bridgewater College (23-10) got past third-ranked Christopher Newport (25-6) with a walk-off single, winning 13-12.
The wild game was back-and-forth from the start, as CNU trailed 4-0 in the second, but used a 7-run fourth to take the lead. The Eagles answered with four more in the bottom half as the lead teetered back to the home team, 8-7.
CNU would tie the game twice more and led, 12-11, after the top of the eighth, but could not hold on as Bridgewater scored one run in the eighth and the winner in the ninth.
The Captains big third inning saw CNU score seven runs on five hits, led by back-to-back home runs by seniors Steven Lindemuth and Steven Keener. The scoring started with an RBI double by Chris McDougal and a two-RBI single by Luke Saunders. Lindemuth stepped in with one on when he homered to left field, and Keener added a solo shot to right in the next at-bat.
Bridgewater used its second four-run inning to re-take the lead in the fourth when the Eagles were led by Jay Thompson, who doubled home a pair in the inning. CNU tied it up at eight with a two-out RBI from Saunders in the top of the fourth, but Bridgewater answered with two in its half of the inning. Thompson had another RBI in the inning as BC led 10-8 after four.
Connor Madden and Saunders tacked on a pair of RBI's in the sixth inning as CNU evened the game for the second time, 10-10. A fourth RBI from Thompson, though, again gave Bridgewater the lead, 11-10.
Billy Steel led off the top of the eighth with a single, and moved up to third on a pair of sacrifice bunts. He scored on a wild pitch and Connor Madden came home on an RBI double to right center by Lindemuth. The clutch extra-base hit gave CNU a 12-11 lead with two innings remaining.
The Eagles tied the game with an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth and set up the ninth inning, both teams tied at 12. With closer Ryan Fleischmann on the hill, Bridgewater had a runner on second with one out after a sacrifice bunt. Fleischmann got the second out with a fly ball to right field, but Alex Nuttycombe stepped in and slipped a single through the right side, scoring Devon Snow for the win.
CNU got multi-hit games from four players, led by third baseman Luke Saunders. He went 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. Lindemuth added three RBI and a run on two hits and McDougal finished with three hits in four at-bats.
Thompson had five runs batted in for the Eagles, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Nuttycombe finished with three runs and three hits with two RBI, including the game-winning stroke.
The Captains will now set their sights on their title defense of the USA South Conference Championship. CNU, the top seed in this week's conference tournament in Burlington, N.C. will take on either #4 Methodist or #5 Ferrum on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 pm.