#2 CNU Stunned by Va. Wesleyan, 7-4

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Second-ranked Christopher Newport (30-7) was stunned today, falling 7-4 to the Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins (9-22) in a non-conference road game. The Captains tied the game in the 7th, staging what looked to be another late-game comeback, but the home team scored three in the bottom half to pull ahead for the win.

CNU took a 2-1 lead after three innings, smacking three extra-base hits in the top of the third inning. Seniors Steven Keener and Ben Lenda hit back-to-back doubles to even the score at one, and Lenda came around to score after a Shannon Mark double and an RBI groundout by Billy Steel.

CNU added one more in the top of the fourth, pulling ahead 3-1 when Lenda plated Steven Lindemuth with a sacrifice fly after a leadoff double and advance on a groundout.

Va. Wesleyan chased CNU starter Nick Santalucia in the fifth, though, scoring three runs on three hits, including a big two-RBI triple from Anthony Siracusa. The Marlins took a 4-3 lead on the three-base hit and the Captains would be forced to play from behind for the seventh time in the last nine games. Santalucia finished with four earned runs in five innings of work, striking out three while giving up eight hits.

In the top of the seventh, Matt Shoemaker scored Steel on a sac fly to tie the game at four, but the Marlins answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on reliever Richard Lindsay. Siracuse started the scoring with a go-ahead RBI double, and then came around to score the third run of the inning on a single by Brett Sutryk.

With just six outs remaining, the Captains threatened in both innings, but could not take advantage of the late hits from Shannon Mark and Lindemuth.

The loss drops CNU to 30-7 overall this season.