Written by Sean Dahlin
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—Behind a complete-game, six-strikeout outing from sophomore pitcher Thomas Rudd (Edmond, Okla.), the Southern Virginia University baseball team split its doubleheader on Saturday at Virginia Intermont College, dropping game one 8-1 followed by earning a 7-2 win in the final game of the two-day series.
"It was a great momentum boost for our team to win the last game on the day," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "We had a clutch performance by Thomas [Rudd] in his first start on the mound, and our offense got hits with runners on base."
After dropping game one on Saturday 8-1, Southern Virginia (6-4) snapped its four-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over Virginia Intermont (8-2) in the second game, highlighted by righty Rudd—in his first start of 2013—throwing seven innings while recording six strikeouts and allowing two runs on seven hits.
The Knights struck first in the top of the second inning as freshman Tyler Clark (Idaho Falls, Idaho) knocked in teammate senior catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, S.C.) for the first run of the contest followed shortly after by senior outfielder Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) stealing home.
Senior Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) rounded out the inning with an RBI-single to left field to score Clark on route to a three-run lead through two complete.
Both teams were held scoreless for 18 outs before Southern Virginia extended its lead to 6-0, pushing three more runs across the plate in the top of the fifth. High school teammates and juniors Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.) and Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) along with senior co-captain Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) all scored.
Following the Cobras' only two runs of the game in the bottom half of the sixth, the Knights added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning as Price singled through the left side for his second RBI of the game to bring in Hintze, who finished with a team-leading 3-for-4 from the plate and two runs scored.
Rudd (3-0) earned a team-high third win on the year while Virginia Intermont's starting pitcher got the loss going 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.
Redshirt freshman third baseman Nicholas Lyons (Bryson City, N.C.) contributed to Southern Virginia's win hitting 2-for-3 with a double and RBI.
In the first game on Saturday, Cobras right-handed starter Justin Hutton earned his third win of the season going all seven innings and allowing no earned runs on five hits.
Virginia Intermont jumped ahead putting up a crooked number on the scoreboard in each of the first two innings to lead the Knights 4-0.
Southern Virginia scored its only run of the contest cutting into the home team's lead (4-1) in the third inning when Key hit in Brown for the first of his two RBIs on the day grounding out to third base.
The Cobras extended their lead, however, when the final four runs of the game crossed home plate in the bottom of the fourth highlighted by a Tyler Richardson triple to deep right center that scored two runs.
Sophomore CJ Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.), Linn and Brown all went 1-for-3 at the plate respectively while Stevenson led the Knights with 2-for-2 and a double to lead-off the game in the loss.
Knights Senior lefty Ed Greenhalgh (1-1) recorded the loss giving up four runs in 2.1 innings-pitched while freshman reliever Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) went the final 3.2 innings with two strikeouts and allowed four runs, all unearned, on six hits.
Left fielder Key ended an impressive streak of a 17-game hitting streak dating back to 2012 after going 0-for-3 in the first contest on Saturday.
Baseball does not need to travel far for its sixth straight game on the road facing ODAC-member Washington and Lee University—a program that Southern Virginia last defeated 10-1 on April 16, 2012—on Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.