Written by Sean Dahlin
LEXINGTON, Va.—In a tight battle at Cap'n Dick Smith Field, the Southern Virginia University baseball team won its third straight game this season 8-7 on Thursday at crosstown-rival Washington and Lee University.
"We've had a long-standing rivalry of good battles with Washington and Lee and today was no exception," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "It was nine innings of exciting baseball, and I credit our players in holding on for the win."
Senior left-hander Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah) went five innings of three-strikeout, three-run ball and senior captain Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.) earned his first save as a Knight to lead Southern Virginia (11-5) in its third consecutive victory over Washington and Lee (7-8)—the Knights defeated the Generals 14-8 on Feb. 27, 2013, and 10-1 on Apr. 16, 2012.
Theatrics were provided in the ninth inning beginning with the Knights extending their lead to 8-4 as junior outfielder Mitchell Mantle (St. George, Utah) singled in teammate C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.) following junior shortstop Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) stealing home after Mantle took second base.
The Generals responded in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff solo shot to left-center from Will Salley. The next at-bat, Mantle laid out for a clutch diving stop in right field for the fly out.
Washington and Lee later came to within one run of Southern Virginia after Mike Savas doubled down the left field line to bring in teammates Keegan Dolan and Michael DeMatteis. The Knights, however, finished on top, putting the Generals' rally to a halt as junior first baseman Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.) caught the final out of the game on a line drive hit in his direction.
In the opening inning, Washington and Lee scored first on an Alex Maragos RBI-single up the middle before Southern Virginia captured the lead in the top of the second that would not be relinquished, driving four Knights across home plate.
Linn, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI, initiated the four-run second as he hit a double down in the left field corner to bring in senior Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) after later scoring a run himself on an RBI-single from redshirt freshman Nicholas Lyons (Bryson City, N.C.).
Lyons then scored on a fielder's choice followed by a double-steal in which Stevenson stole second base while Andrus swiped home plate—Stevenson recorded two steals on the day.
The Generals added a run in the bottom of the fourth as Dolan crossed home on a wild pitch. Both teams then swapped runs in the fifth as Linn singled in an RBI for Southern Virginia and the Generals' Jonathan Stutts scored in the bottom half of the inning.
Two more runs were registered prior to the ninth inning as the Knights' Lyons scored—advancing home on a wild pitch—while Washington and Lee added one more on a Maragos RBI-single to right field.
Lyons had a solid showing offensively going 2-for-4, scoring two runs with a double and one RBI with Andrus and Mantle finishing 1-for-2 at the plate respectively in the win on the road.
Starting pitcher Greenhalgh struck out three batters and improved to 3-1 on the season. Generals starter Jake Rudolph (0-1) was handed the loss allowing four earned runs on four hits in 2.0 innings.
Baseball has little time to rest traveling tomorrow, Mar. 15, to Petersburg, Va., to face NCAA Division II Virginia State University in a doubleheader.
Listen live as the Knights take on the Trojans.