Teams continue with openers in 2017

Wilson Morgan's double gave Emory a win in their 2017 season opener.
Emory athletics photo

Senior Wilson Morgan provided the dramatics in the 2017 season opener for No 4 Emory, delivering a one-out run-scoring double in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Eagles to the 6-5 walk off victory over Sewanee on Saturday afternoon at Chappell Park in Atlanta. Sewanee rallied in the top of the eighth, scoring three runs off of senior closer Kyle Monk. The Tigers led off the frame with a triple by Jack Cooper followed by three straight singles. After recording one out, Monk lost pinch-hitter Josh Roberts to a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to 5-4. The next batter, Ryan Poole, drove in the tying in with a sac fly to center before Monk sent down the next two hitters. The stage was set for Morgan's dramatics in the ninth.

Oglethorpe bounced back from Friday's ninth inning loss in extremely impressive fashion at the Firehouse Classic in Montgomery, Alabama. The Stormy Petrels bludgeoned the Huntingdon Hawks, the event's host team, and never gave them an opportunity to recover, defeating them 13-3 in a 7-inning game shortened by the 10-run rule. The Petrels mashed 17 hits as a team, and played errorless ball for the second consecutive day. Senior right fielder Brandon Fish went 3-for-5 at the plate on the afternoon with a home run, a double, 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Also at the Firehouse Classic, LaGrange pulled away for an 8-4 win over Southwestern as the the Panthers remain perfect on the young season. The 5-0 start is La Grange's best start since the 2006 season. Casey Bell led the Panthers' 12-hit attack with four of his own, including a home run.

In almost two years of NCAA Division III for Belhaven Athletics, there have been some key contests with ranked teams and recent champions; for Belhaven baseball, they earned a taste of that at Smith-Wills Stadium, as the Blazers defeated the reigning D-III National Champions of Trinity, 10-6. Tyler Wolfe, who relieved Shane Brown in the fifth inning, earned his first career win with the Green and Gold.

Eastern Mennonite started out the year with a split after winning the first game of a season-opening doubleheader with Penn State Altoona in Harrisonburg. The Royals enjoyed temperatures in the 60s, a 30-degree improvement from the day before, to treat the home crowd of 175 to a great opening day. The Royals jumped on the scoreboard quickly, plating two unearned runs in the their first at-bat, adding one in the second and two more in the third to open up a 5-0 cushion eroute to a 7-2 win. The EMU offense struggled to get things going in the second game, losing 6-4.

A pair of 8th inning home runs, including an inside-the-park score by junior Josh Covey, lifted the Texas-Dallas to a dramatic 7-5 win over 2016 ASC finalist Hardin-Simmons at The Ballpark at Grand Prairie. Trailing 5-4 and down two outs in the 8th, Covey sent a rocket to the rightfield corner where it bounced around before HSU right fielder Cody Berryman could corral it and fire back to the infield. The relay throw to the plate seemingly arrived in time to prevent Covey from tying the score, but a hard slide knocked the ball loose from Cowboy catcher Dylan Sweeney. Losing pitcher Ty Englehart, who had given up just one other hit in a 2-inning relief appearance, then hit a batter with the next pitch. Barry Casey greeted the HSU closer with a two-run shot over the left-center field wall to score the winning runs.

Covenant completed its first series sweep of the season as the Scots defeated visiting Emory & Henry 8-7 in game one and 6-1 in game two of a doubleheader. Both games were scheduled for seven innings. Covenant is now 16-1 all-time against Emory & Henry and has won the last 11 meetings.

Austin Haight had two of Berry's 10 hits against No. 20 Texas-Tyler.
Berry athletics photo

Berry won their first game of the year 4-2 against No. 20 Texas-Tyler. Berry opened up scoring in the top of the fourth inning with two runs and tacked on two additional two runs in the top of the sixth inning.Texas-Tyler then scored one run in each of the sixth and seventh innings, but the deficit was too large to overcome.

Sophomore Jeffrey Butler reached base in his first eight plate appearances on the day and senior Jay Patti belted a three-run homer to highlight an eight-run third in the nightcap as sixth-ranked Randolph-Macon swept an opening-day doubleheader from St. Mary's on Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park. The Yellow Jackets took the opener 8-1 and rallied past the Seahawks 9-3 in game two.

Roanoke got three hits and three RBI from Sean Guida to rally from an early five run deficit and top Frostburg State 10-7 in the season-opener for both teams. In the ninth inning, Frostburg State pushed across two runs and had the tying run at the plate but Craig Kiley took the mound and recorded the final two outs for the save.

Seniors Tony Sanchez and Luis Palencia each recorded walk-off hits to lead N.C. Wesleyan to a season-opening sweep of Virginia Wesleyan at Bauer Field. Sanchez blasted a walk-off grand slam to seal an 8-4 win in the opener, while Palencia delivered a two-out bunt single to secure a 6-5 victory in game two.

No. 24 Salisbury defeated Gwynedd Mercy 20-12 in its season and home opener. The Sea Gulls had two eight-run innings coupled with three home runs to earn the victory. Salisbury scored eight runs in the first but the Griffins came roaring back pulling within two, 8-6, in the third. However, Salisbury once again exploded offensively between the third, fourth, and fifth innings plating 12 runs between the three to put the game out of reach.

William Peace's Alex Scott hit a home run and tallied five RBI as the Pacers defeated Guilford, 14-11. The game featured plenty of offense in contrast to the game these two teams played just a day before in which Guilford won, 1-0. The Pacers sprinkled their 14 runs through several innings, but the sixth inning was the Pacers' best with five runs.. Alex Scott was phenomenal at the plate going 4-for-4 with five RBI and three runs. Scott blasted his first home run of the season in the third inning to help the Pacers get ahead early, Mikey Anerton and Sean Finneran each had three hits as well. The Quakers tried to stay in the game, but every time the Quakers scored, the Pacers would come right back with more offense.

For the second straight night, the University of Dallas scored the go-ahead run in its final turn to bat. The Crusaders were the home team at AirHogs Stadium in day two of the "Rusty Greer & Jackie Moore Collegiate Classic." Deadlocked at 2-all against Concordia Texas in the 10th inning, Colby Davenport ripped his first collegiate hit to left field. After a mishandle by the Tornadoes leftfielder, JP Fasone raced home and was mobbed by his teammates as the Crusaders came from behind consecutive nights after trailing at least the first six and a half innings.