Augustana wins opener

Senior Ryan Kairis went 3-for-5 with a run scored and
one RBI as Augustana opened the 2019 season with a
6-4 win over Bates in Winter Haven, Florida.
Augustana athletics photo

Averett, Christopher Newport, Guilford, and Mary Washington all won on Tuesday on a day where the action was centered in Virginia and North Carolina. Each team used a strong start by their game day starter on their way to victory. Averett's head coach Kenny Fleming earned his first career victory with the 5-4 win over Lynchburg.

Down in Florida, Augustana met Bates in the season opener for both teams. Four late runs gave Augustana a 6-4 win as they started their spring trip. Games scheduled in Texas were all postponed.

Augustana 6, Bates 4

Augustana scored a run in the seventh and three in the eighth Tuesday to erase a 3-2 deficit and eventually hung on for a 6-4 win over Bates in the 2019 season opener. The Vikings (1-0) and Bobcats (0-1) are scheduled to play single games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well.

Augustana trailed 3-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but senior Ryan Kairis legged out a two-out infield hit off reliever Justin Foley to start the Vikings' rally. After a Kairis steal and a walk to Tyler Nunez, senior Gunnar Haskins singled in Kairis with the tying run.

Sophomore reliever Josh Chamberlain set Bates down in order in the top of the eighth before his teammates plated three more runs in the bottom half. Senior Ryan Grannemann and junior Nick Kirk drew consecutive walks from Alex Simon to start the frame. Junior Sam Beyer moved the runners up with a sacrifice and pinch-hitter Jake Huber singled to right, scoring pinch-runner Griffin Schuster with the go-ahead run. Senior Nick Mosele squeezed in Kirk and Kairis' single to left scored Huber to make it 6-3 Augustana after eight.

Dan Trulli's RBI single in the top of the ninth pulled the Bobcats to within 6-4, but sophomore reliever John Hayes fanned Justin White and Giovanni Torres with the bases loaded to preserve the victory.

After senior starter Mike Powers retired Bates in the top of the first, his teammates staked him to a lead with two runs in the bottom half. Nunez stroked a one-out single to center and eventually scored on a Grannemann hit and sophomore Mitchell Owens doubled in junior Will Troia, who had walked.

Bates took advantage of two Viking errors to grab the lead with three second-inning runs. Torres and Kevin Lucey started the inning with consecutive singles. The first Augustana miscue loaded the bases and another allowed Torres and Lucey to score, tying the game. Will Sylvia's ground out plated Andrew Chi with the go-ahead run.

Both starters settled in after that, although neither factored in the final decision. Powers (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO) followed with five scoreless innings, while Bates' Nolan Collins (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO) blanked the Vikings until leaving to start the bottom of the seventh.

Chamberlain picked up the win in an inning and a third of relief and Hayes earned the save. Simon suffered the loss for the Bobcats.

Kairis led the Augustana attack, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and one knocked in. Grannemann, Nunez and Haskins each had a pair of hits.

Averett 5, Lynchburg 4

The Averett University baseball team picked up its first win off the 2019 season knocking off the University of Lynchburg by a final of 5-4, Tuesday afternoon at Owen-Fulton Field, as baseball head coach Kenny Fleming earned his first career victory.

Freshman Collin Clark started on the mound for the Cougars and did not disappoint as the right hander pitched a one hit shutout over five innings of work, while striking out a career-high nine batters.

Averett (1-4) managed to put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning allowing Clark to exit the game in line for the victory. Junior Andrew Lancaster led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field, advancing to third base on freshman Brandon Hatcher's sacrifice bunt and later scoring on a sacrifice fly by freshman Jason Maggs.

The Cougars added their second run when junior Nick Winston crossed home when junior Sawyer Smith was caught in a rundown between first and second.

Lynchburg (1-2) tied the game in the top of the sixth inning scoring an earned run off sophomore Tanner Bradshaw following an opening inning single and later an unearned run off a Cougars fielding error.

However, Averett rebounded in the bottom of the sixth regaining the lead 4-2 aided by a leadoff walk from senior Kyle Vidano and a double by junior Chase McKinney. Junior Cody Jones singled through the right side to score Vidano while senior Matt Tuggle launched a sacrifice fly to left field that scored McKinney.

The Hornets added runs in the seventh and eighth innings to even the score at 4-4, but Averett added the game winning run in the bottom half of the inning when Smith singled to center field and later scored when Lancaster was hit by a pitch with bases loaded.

Tuggle shut the door in the top half of the ninth inning, earning his first save of the year as the right hander struck out two batters in one inning of relief, while freshman Josh Adkins earned the win on the mound for the Cougars.

Christopher Newport 6, Eastern Mennonite 1

Playing on a cold, windy day at Captains Park, the offense was stifled on both sides before the nationally-ranked Christopher Newport Captains (5-0) broke open the game in the 6th inning en route to a 6-1 win over Eastern Mennonite on Tuesday afternoon. The Captains pitching staff combined for just one run on five hits led by sophomore Nathan Clements in his first career start.

Clements earned his first career start against the Royals and worked through a strong five innings before being relieved by Tyler Jumper. Clements retired the side in order in the first and second innings with three strikeouts and faced only one batter more than the minimum through the first three frames.

The Royals scratched across one run on one hit and an error in the fourth inning against Clements, but the sophomore right-hander finished his day with an impressive line in his first career start. He struck out a career-high six batters in 5.0 innings with just one hit and one run allowed.

The Captains offense struggled to get going against the Eastern Mennonite starter, John Judy, as the junior retired the Captains in order through the first 3.2 innings. Senior Seth Woodard ended that run with a single through the left side in the bottom of the fourth, but Judy struck out the next batter to eliminate the threat.

The single by Woodard represented the only Captain to reach through the first two trips around the lineup card until Austin Henry worked a walk in the bottom of the sixth. Jordan Mason grounded to the right side to move him up to second base and Conner Clark followed with a hit-by-pitch to put two on for Woodard. The senior third baseman then hammered the first pitch he saw on the inside of third base for an RBI double to tie the game at one.

With Clark moving up to third base on the double, the Captains had the go-ahead run 90 feet away from the plate with John Anderson at the plate. Anderson worked the count full and reliever Jonathan Nagle bounced ball four in the dirt and Clark raced in for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run. Nicholas Baham was up next and kept the line moving, blistering a 1-1 pitch into left center field and plating two more runs as Woodard and pinch runner J.T. Bellotti sprinted home to put the Captains up, 4-1.

CNU tacked on two more runs int he seventh after Ryan Grubbs led off with an infield single and moved up on a wild pitch. Henry and Mason had back-to-back walks to load the bases for Clark, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right field. After Mason stole second, the Royals intentionally walked Woodard to face pinch hitter Evan Baer, who also delivered a sacrifice fly to plate another run.

Jumper (1-0) worked a scoreless sixth inning to put himself in line for the win and gave way to senior lefty Austin Slough in the seventh. After a leadoff flyout, Slough gave up a single to center but then induced an inning-ending double play to close out the frame. Junior Brian Owens worked the eighth for his first appearance of the year, striking out a pair in a shutout frame, and junior Andrew Suppa closed out the win with a perfect 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of K's. As a staff, the Captains allowed just five hits while striking out 11 batters.

Offensively, Woodard was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored to lead the way while Baham added the two-run single. Henry, who had eight walks already leading into Tuesday's contest added two more in four plate appearances and scored twice.

Guilford's starting pitcher Ty Walser
Guilfor athletics photo by Emily Heck

Guilford 8, Elmira 1

Starting pitcher Ty Walser threw a seven-inning gem--and the Quakers knocked 13 hits--as Guilford College defeated Elmira College, 8-1, on Tuesday afternoon.

The win was the fourth straight for Guilford (4-3). The Soaring Eagles dropped to 2-1.

Walser (1-0) allowed five hits, struck out five batters and allowed one walk. He surrendered one run on an infield single in the fifth inning. Brody Holloman threw a perfect eighth inning. Ty Hicks and Drew Sawyer combined for a three-up, threw down ninth to close the game.

The home team plated four runs in the third inning. The scoring was highlighted by Dylan Tuttle's RBI double that scored Austin Bailey. Tuttle hit 2-for-4 for GC. Elmira starter Angus Adams (0-1) gave up six runs (two earned) in four frames.

In the bottom of the fourth, Brett Shapcott (2-3, 3 RBI) doubled to score both Ryan Hill and Giovanni Garcia--who went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the Quakers. Hill was 2-4 with a double for the home club.

Guilford scored the game's final two runs in the fifth inning. Bryce Vestal came home on a passed by for GC's seventh run. Shapcott singled to score Garcia for the contest's final tally.

Mason Ryan was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Soaring Eagle hitters.

Mary Washington 8, Methodist 0

Junior Robert Cross and senior Hank Biggs dazzled on the mound for the University of Mary Washington baseball team as they blanked Methodist University, 8-0, in the season opener on Tuesday afternoon in Fayetteville, NC. Cross pitched six innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out three batters. Biggs closed the last three innings by giving up just two hits and striking out four. The Eagles begin the season 1-0.

UMW got on the board early in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Marcel Barrett got the rally started as he singled down the right field line, Norman Holcomb then singled to right field, and Stephen Johnston loaded the bases with a single. Garrett Lyons came up to bat and worked a walk to score Barrett and take a 1-0 lead. Christian Hague then grounded out to shortstop, but scored Holcomb to help UMW go up 2-0.

The Eagles kept it going in the second inning as Nick Bass led off the inning with a walk and a single from Kevin France put Bass on third. After Tyler Ray was hit by a pitch, Barrett singled home Bass to extend the lead to 3-0.

UMW managed three walks, and one hit over the next four innings but couldn't get a run across the plate. Cross ran into a little trouble in the fifth inning as he allowed the first hit of the game for Methodist and that runner advanced to second, but Cross got a groundout to end the inning. In the sixth, a runner got to second after a base hit but again Cross stranded him as he managed to get a fly out and a line out.

In the seventh inning, Ray led off the inning with a double and then Barrett reached first as the next batter. Holcomb singled up the middle to score Ray and then Johnston came up to single through the right side to score Barrett and give UMW a 5-0 lead.

Biggs took the mound in the seventh inning and ran into a little bit of trouble as he loaded the bases, but calmly struck out the last batter of the inning looking to keep the Monarchs scoreless.

UMW added some insurance runs in the eighth inning as Johnston and Lyons both delivered a two-out base hit to extend their lead to 8-0. Bass began the inning by reaching on an error, Ray then singled, and Holcomb added a single to load the bases. Johnston then knocked home Bass and Ray on a single up the middle and Lyons singled to right field to bring home Holcomb.

Biggs closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and the Eagles took the game 8-0.