Written by Matthew McKinney
BLUEFIELD, W.Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team lost its third consecutive game on the road Tuesday afternoon with a 5-13 defeat at Bluefield College in seven innings.
Tuesday's matchup with Bluefield was originally scheduled as a doubleheader, but the second game was called on account of rain.
Southern Virginia (10-14) fell behind early when Bluefield (22-17) scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning off the Knights' starting pitcher Mitch Mantle (St. George, Utah).
The Knights quickly responded in the top of the second when right fielder Brandon Alexander (Oakley, Calif.) hit a two-run blast—the sophomore's sixth homerun of the year—bringing Southern Virginia within two runs of the Rams.
That would be as close as Southern Virginia would come to Bluefield, however, as the Rams poured in six unanswered runs during their next two at bats, including a four-run bottom of the fourth, making it 2-10 heading into the fifth.
During that two-inning span, Rams' left fielder Joe Gatewood homered twice—a solo shot and a 3-run job—helping to put the game out of reach for the Knights.
Southern Virginia added two more runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, but Bluefield kept pace with the Knights tacking on three in the sixth to maintain an eight-run advantage.
In four innings, Mantle (3-2) gave up ten earned runs and struck out two in the loss, which snapped the sophomore pitcher's three-game winning streak.
While the Knights were only outhit 5-9, seven of the Rams' nine hits were for extra bases, including Gatewood's two homeruns.
Jordan Stailey (Silver City, NM) gave up three earned runs in 1.2 innings of relief for Mantle.
Baseball has now lost four of its last five games after a season-long seven-game winning streak.
Southern Virginia looks to get back on track this Friday, Apr. 6 when the Knights play another road doubleheader at Averett University (20-15) beginning at 2 p.m. EST.