#7 Captains Open With Bang; Beat Hampden-Sydney, 17-2

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- The 2012 season opener for the seventh ranked Christopher Newport University Captains (1-0) could not have gone much better, as CNU cruised to a 17-2 victory over Hampden-Sydney College (2-1). Preseason All-American Connor Madden led the offensive onslaught, going 4-for-5 with five RBI including a grand slam in the third inning.

The Captains had 20 hits in the game, including six for extra bases. Conversely, the Captains pitching staff, led by sophomore starter Bryan Bierlein, allowed just five hits to the Tigers. Bierlein went six innings, giving up just three hits while striking out six.

Hampden-Sydney struck first, manufacturing a run in the first inning, but the Captains offense exploded with five runs each in the second- and third-innings, followed by four more in the fourth inning.

Steven Keener hit the first of his two doubles to get things started in the second inning, followed by a triple by rookie Andy Viands. The top of the order would then score three more after an error by the shortstop scored Shannon Mark and a Luke Saunders single down the left field line drove in two more.

In the third, Madden's grand slam was the highlight, a blast to left center field after three hit batsmen loaded the bases.

The Tigers added one more in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run to center field by Erick Herrmann, but it would be the last run of the day for the road team.

All nine starters had at least one hit for the Captains and eight different players scored in the game. Keener had two doubles in a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scoring four times.

The Captains bullpen pitched three shutout innings, giving up just two hits while striking out five. Juniors Matt Verdillo and Ryan Fleischmann had three and two K's, respectively.

CNU returns to action this Sunday, as they host Mary Washington at 1:00 pm.