Captains Win 14-Inning Game vs. Ferrum, 2-0

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FERRUM, Va. -- Both teams were scoreless for nearly a full game and a half in terms of innings played, but fourth-ranked Christopher Newport University (16-3, 4-1) finally broke through with the game-winning runs in the top of the 14th in a shutout victory over Ferrum College today, 2-0. Senior first baseman Steven Keener plated the game-winning run with an RBI single in the 14th, after a lead-off double by senior Matt Shoemaker.

The Panthers (13-8, 2-3) got ten clean innings from starter Chris Walker, striking out nine with six hits allowed. Walker, a sophomore, retired 14 of 15 straight batters at one point in the middle innings to keep the Captains off the board. CNU managed to scatter six hits including a two-out triple by Connor Madden in the sixth inning, but were unable to bring across any runs.

On the other side of the field, though, Ferrum was having an equal amount of trouble scoring on the Captains. Sophomore starter Bryan Bierlein matched Walker for six innings before giving way to the bullpen, which was just as strong for head coach John Harvell. Bierlein gave up three hits in the first two innings before locking down the Panthers attack to the tune of just one hit allowed over the next four. He struck out six while walking one and keeping Ferrum off the board in the no decision.

Junior Richard Lindsay pitched a scoreless seventh, followed by two shutout innings from Matt Verdillo. With the game still dead-locked after the scheduled nine innings, CNU turned to junior closer Ryan Fleischmann. Fleischmann cruised through three shutout innings in extra-time, giving up just two hits while striking out a pair.

For Ferrum, Justin Puentes came in the 11th, allowing just one hit in his first three innings of action. He remained in at the top of the 14th, facing Shoemaker to start the inning. The Captains' second baseman laced a double to center field to kick-start the CNU rally. He moved up to third on a bunt single by Steven Lindemuth and came around to score on the clutch game-winning single by Keener.

The Captains tacked on another run in the inning on an RBI bunt single by rookie Preston Grissom, scoring Keener on the play.

Sophomore Jacob Vaughan picked up the win in relief, checking in for Fleischmann in the bottom of the 13th inning. He managed to work himself out of a jam in the 13th, after giving up a lead-off triple. He got a fly out to right, strikeout and an infield pop-up to escape the threat. Vaughan finished off his second win of the week, improving to 3-0 this season, with a 1-2-3 inning in the 14th.

Keener and Shoemaker each had two hits in the game to lead the way for CNU, while nine different Captains combined for 11 total hits.

The marathon game lasted nearly five hours and was played in front of over 200 fans. The two teams will return to action on Sunday, wrapping up the season series between the two teams at 2:00 pm.