March 23, 2013

Knights Stung by Hornets, Drop Two at Lynchburg

Written by Sean Dahlin 

LYNCHBURG, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team gave up a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning in game one on route to dropping both games of Saturday's doubleheader 5-4 and 5-3 at Lynchburg College. 

"We lost a few close battles against a very good opponent in Lynchburg," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "Our team was in the driver's seat in the first game, but was unable to close it out. We're looking forward to getting back on track with our games at home on Wednesday." 

Through five complete in the opener, Southern Virginia (12-9) held a 4-0 lead over Lynchburg (14-10) before the Hornets cut into the deficit with three runs in the bottom of the sixth led off by a solo home run from Blake Shiflett. 

Lynchburg followed up the three-run sixth with another Shiflett RBI on a bases-loaded walk leading up to a timely walk-off RBI-single to right field to bring across teammate Lincoln Evans for the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

The Knights plated all four scores in the top of the third beginning with Tyler Clark's (Idaho Falls, Idaho) double to left field to score junior Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) and senior Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) home—both went 2-for-3 at the plate. 

Senior co-captain Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) later hit in Clark on a grounder to shortstop before designated hitter Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.) singled in senior third baseman Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss.) for Southern Virginia's final run. 

Cox finished 3-for-3 with a double and run scored while senior catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, S.C.) added two hits in the loss. 

Hornets starting pitcher Brandon Miller (4-3) went the distance in the win with two strikeouts and no walks while allowing four runs on 11 hits. Southern Virginia freshman Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) registered the loss, moving to 1-1 on the year, giving up two runs on three hits through 0.2 innings of relief. 

Knights' starter on the mound junior Thomas Rudd (Norman, Okla.) had a solid outing allowing three runs on six hits through six complete—his 4.97 ERA ranks fourth on the squad so far in 2013. 

In game two, Lynchburg jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Shiflett hit his second solo shot of the afternoon. 

Southern Virginia attacked back in the top of the second inning with the lead on a pair of RBI-doubles to right field from sophomore C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.) and junior Giovanni Prado (West Valley City, Utah) respectively. 

The Hornets, however, regained the advantage scoring two runs in the fourth highlighted by a Jay Kenyon-double to left field to bring Joe Rogers across home plate. The home squad attached insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on an Evans RBI-single and a sacrifice fly to right from Michael Kenah to hit in Jake Tanner. 

In the top of the seventh, The Knights moved to within two on a sacrifice fly by Linn to score junior Mitchell Mantle (St. George, Utah). Southern Virginia's rally was cut short, however, as Lynchburg reliever Trevor Johnston—who registered a save—struck out freshman Avery Benesch (Gilbert, Ariz.) for the final out of the contest. 

Hintze led the squad with two hits while Andrus, Clark and Prado each went 1-for-2 at the dish. 

The Hornets' starter Zac Patrick improved to 1-2 on the season in his four-strikeout, two-run performance through six complete innings. Cox (2-2) was given the loss in the second game allowing four hits and three runs in 3.0 innings. 

Baseball will return home after a six-game road swing to face the University of Virginia's College at Wise in a doubleheader on Wed., Mar. 27, at Casey Field in Covington, Va. 

Watch live video as the Knights take on the Cavaliers.