Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Scoring double-digit runs in its fifth straight game, the Southern Virginia University baseball team rallied past New Jersey City University 12-11 on Friday, scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to extend its winning streak to five games.
"Today's game definitely had its excitement," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "I'm proud of our players for continuing to fight as a team, believing we could come back and win."
One at-bat after Southern Virginia (5-0) evened the score at 11 apiece with New Jersey City (0-1) in the bottom of the ninth inning as senior catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, S.C.) crossed home plate, left fielder Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) laid down a successful bases-loaded suicide squeeze to score teammate Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) for the Knights' walk-off victory.
In the top of the final inning, the Gothic Knights extended their lead to two runs (11-9) with a Michael Martucci solo home run over the left field wall. Southern Virginia, however, found itself back into contention as Brown singled to third base off New Jersey City reliever Kevin DeMauro—who earned the loss without recording an out—to score pinch runner Tyler Clark (Idaho Falls, Idaho).
Shortly after, junior Mitchell Mantle (St. George, Utah) hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped resulting in Price's run to tie the game.
The day began with the visiting Gothic Knights taking an early lead in the first inning as their first three batters—Michael Patterson, Pete Senyszyn and Andrew Rivera—touched home plate.
On the opposing side, the Knights registered one run in the bottom of the first when Price drove in his team-high 12th RBI of the season, scoring leadoff Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) on a fielder's choice.
Through five complete, Southern Virginia jumped ahead of the visitors 6-3, highlighted by three RBIs on two doubles to the left-center field gap in the second and fourth innings from junior shortstop Stevenson—who was 3-for-4 while recording four RBI and three runs on the day.
The seventh inning consisted of two lead changes and seven total runs. New Jersey City took the lead in the top by scoring four runs, three of which were unearned.
The Knights reclaimed the lead in the bottom half with senior right fielder Tyler Cox's (Forest, Miss.) two-run homer and second baseman CJ Andrus' (Federal Way, Wash.) RBI-single, who combined for six hits, five RBI and three runs between both of them.
Southern Virginia righty Thomas Rudd (Edmond, Okla.) gained his second win on the year, pitching 1.2 innings of relief.
Opposing starting pitchers lasted into the seventh inning. Knight left-hander Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.) had a solid outing completing 6.2 innings with three strikeouts while allowing no walks and four earned runs on 10 hits. Gothic Knights starter Wendell Rodriguez finished seven complete and gave up nine runs on 13 hits.
Baseball heads on the road for the first time in 2013, heading to Norfolk, Va., for a doubleheader at ODAC-opponent Virginia Wesleyan College on Saturday, Feb. 16.