March 22, 2012

Southern Virginia Splits at UVA-Wise

Written by Matthew McKinney

WISE, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team split its doubleheader at the University of Virginia's College at Wise on Wednesday winning Game One 3-2 before dropping Game Two 1-4.

Southern Virginia (10-12) took Game One behind a solid performance on the mound from starting pitcher Mitch Mantle (St. George, Utah), who gave up two runs on nine hits in six innings en route to his third win of the season.

Relief pitcher Brady Grisham (Anchorage, Ala.) earned his first save of the season in Game One as the freshman entered in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on to the Knights' one-run lead.

The Knights jumped to an early 2-0 lead in Wednesday's opening game thanks to an RBI single from Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss.) in the first inning and an RBI double from Trager Hintze (St. George, Utah) in the third. Cox led all Knights during Game One at UVA-Wise with two hits in four trips to the plate. 

Right fielder Brandon Alexander (Oakley, Calif.) knocked in the Knights' third and decisive run in the fifth on a two-out double scoring Andrew Snider (Lancaster, Calif.) from second and giving Southern Virginia a 3-1 lead.

UVA-Wise scored one run in the bottom half of the fifth making it 3-2, but the Cavaliers could not add the equalizing run in their final two turns at the plate.

Southern Virginia had only six hits compared to the Cavaliers' ten, but five of the Knights' six hits were doubles, while UVA-Wise had only one extra-base hit and left eleven runners stranded on base.

UVA-Wise starting pitcher Ben Coffman took the loss giving up two earned runs and striking out five batters in four innings.

Southern Virginia struck first again in Game Two when Hintze singled in the third scoring Snider and giving the Knights a 1-0 advantage. UVA-Wise answered back in the bottom of the third, however, on a solo homerun from right fielder Brett Hylton evening the score at one run apiece.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the fifth when Tommy Meier drove in the go ahead run on an RBI single off Southern Virginia's starting pitcher Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.).

The Cavaliers added two more insurance runs in the sixth before relief pitcher Chris Smith closed out the seventh and earned the save. 

King (3-5) took the loss for the Knights, pitching six innings and giving up four runs—two earned—while striking out five.

Snider led all Knights with a pair of hits in Game Two raising his team-leading batting average to .426. 

Wednesday's doubleheader kicked off ten consecutive games on the road for the Knights, who play again tomorrow at Eastern Mennonite University (7-17).

Southern Virginia defeated the Royals 17-2 on a neutral field in Covington, Va., last Thursday, Mar. 22.