Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team pushed a combined 27 runs across home plate as the Knights swept the Friday doubleheader 15-4 and 12-2 over Rochester College in front of a home crowd at Casey Field in Covington, Va.
"Our batters took advantage of the opposing pitchers' mistakes today," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "It was a good day getting two wins from a solid program in Rochester [College]."
On a brisk day, Southern Virginia (4-0) extended its winning streak to four, taking both games against USCAA-opponent Rochester College (0-2).
In the opener, the Knights went ahead to an early 4-1 lead through the first two innings behind RBI-singles from seniors Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss.) and Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) and a two-run home run to deep center by junior Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.)—Linn ended the doubleheader going 5-for-9 with 7 RBI.
The Warriors' Eric Ramirez, Luke Strobl and Carlos Zabaleta scored runs in the top of the third inning to even the score at 4 apiece.
After knocking Rochester starting pitcher Tommy Moore out of the game, Southern Virginia left fielder Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas)—going 3-for-4 at the plate and scoring three runs in game one—led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to center field off lefty reliever Johnny Barreto.
Key eventually scored one at-bat later on a fielder's choice grounder by shortstop Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.)—who went 3-for-4 with two RBI—to give the Knights the lead for good.
The sixth inning proved to be an offensive breakout for the home team as Southern Virginia put up 10 runs highlighted by senior catcher Barrett Price's (Georgetown, S.C.) three-run homer over left-center. Price finished 3-for-4 with 4 RBI.
Senior left-handed pitcher Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah) earned the win striking out four batters and giving up two hits in four innings of relief while Barreto took the loss for the Warriors.
In game two, the Knights picked up where they left off jumping out to an early 9-0 lead, scoring three and six runs in the first two innings respectively.
Lead-off Stevenson, who added three more base knocks in game two, singled through the left side of the infield before crossing home plate for the first run of the game as high school teammate Linn knocked him in on a single to left. Cox—who pitched five strong innings while allowing one run for his first win of the year—and Linn later scored as well.
The second inning saw sophomore CJ Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.), Stevenson, Cox, Linn, Hintze and Price score for the nine-run advantage.
Rochester finally put up a crooked number on the scoreboard as Kevin Moore knocked in Ramirez with a double to left in the top of the fifth. Southern Virginia answered back, however, as right fielder Mitchell Mantle (St. George, Utah), Andrus and Stevenson all earned RBIs in the sixth.
The Warriors' attempt at a comeback was halted scoring only one run in the top of the seventh inning before freshman reliever Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) shut the door for the 12-2 Knight victory.
Second baseman Andrus went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI while Mantle finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.
Rochester starting pitcher Andrew Jarrell lasted 1.2 innings for eight earned-runs in the loss.
After playing four games in three days, baseball will return to action in one week as it faces NCAA Division III New Jersey City University at Casey Field on Feb. 15.
Watch live video as the Knights take on New Jersey City.