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March 9, 2013

Knights Sweep Wildcats with Back-to-Back 7th Inning Walk-Offs

Written by Sean Dahlin 

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Behind two consecutive game-winning at-bats from sophomore second baseman C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.), the Southern Virginia University baseball team swept Saturday's twin bill 4-3 and 6-5 in Covington, Va., over USCAA-opponent Pennsylvania College of Technology. 

"Although we struggled at the plate today, our team pulled together and found a way to come out with the W's when it counted most," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "CJ [Andrus] had clutch at-bats that led to both our walk-off victories." 

Andrus came up with two clutch at-bats at the end of both contests to give Southern Virginia (10-5) the doubleheader sweep over Penn College (0-2). 

He first hit a sacrifice fly to center field in extra innings to score teammate senior Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) for the walk-off win (4-3) in game one, followed by an RBI-single to right field in the bottom of the seventh to bring in Matt Painter (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Brown for another walk-off victory (6-5) in game two. 

In the opener, the Wildcats started with an early 2-0 lead with brothers Cody and Zachary Buterbaugh crossing home plate before the Knights cut into the deficit as junior first baseman Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.) singled through the left side to hit in freshman outfielder Tyler Clark (Idaho Falls, Idaho) through the first six outs of the contest. 

Southern Virginia later evened the score as Linn, who went 2-for-2 with two RBI, registered his team-tying second solo home run to left-center in the bottom of the fourth inning. 

The competition remained tied through five complete with Penn College's Craig Watson recording a run while senior outfielder Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) scored on a single from Clark—who went 2-for-5 with two runs scored on the day. 

After scoreless sixth and seventh innings including a backhanded grab at the wall by Clark in right field, the Knights' Brown moved to third base on a single by Giovanni Prado (West Valley City, Utah) on route to the game-winning RBI from Andrus in the bottom of the eighth. 

Freshman reliever Austin Douglas (Howell, Mich.) improved his record to 1-1 throwing three innings of no-hit, shutout ball with three strikeouts while the Wildcats' Luke Zamiskie (0-1) registered the loss allowing two runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. 

In game two, Penn College jumped ahead for the second straight time on Saturday with a 4-1 lead through four innings highlighted by a James Simasek two-RBI double in the top of the second. Southern Virginia's run came in the bottom half of the third as senior first baseman singled through the left side to bring in teammate junior Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.).

The Knights tightened the game with a run by Clark in the fifth and an RBI-triple from Stevenson to score Key in the bottom of the sixth. Key's run, however, was offset in the top of the inning by the Wildcats on a C. Buterbaugh-double knocking in Simasek. 

Heading into the bottom of the seventh, Southern Virginia found itself behind by two runs before third baseman Nicholas Lyons (Bryson City, N.C.) singled to right to score Prato and Andrus brought home Brown and Painter for its second consecutive walk-off win. 

Eight of the Knights' starters registered at least one hit apiece in the second contest with Hintze and Stevenson going 2-for-4 and an RBI each respectively. 

Senior left-hander Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win to improve to 1-1 on the season. Penn College's Z. Buterbaugh (0-1) was given the loss in 0.2 innings of five-hit, three-run ball. 

Southern Virginia's relief pitching held the visitors at bay on Saturday allowing one earned run in 12.1 innings of work. Including Douglas' performance, freshman righty Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) tossed 4.0 innings, striking out four batters while giving up four hits in the opener. 

Junior Mitch Mantle (St. George, Utah) added 3.1 innings of quality relief recording two strikeouts while allowing one run on three hits in the second game of the doubleheader to go with King's shutout inning. 

Baseball travels on the road to Petersburg, Va., to face NCAA Division II Virginia State University in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 12. 

Listen live as the Knights take on the Trojans.