Written by Sean Dahlin
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team came up short 3-0 and 4-2 in Saturday's twin bill at USCAA-rival the Apprentice School.
"We expect a battle each time we play Apprentice and today was no exception," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "Our pitchers threw well enough to give us a chance in both games. We struggled, however, to push runs across the board and couldn't get our offense going."
Southern Virginia (12-11) was held to a season-low eight hits and three runs on the day while Apprentice (24-4) swept both contests in succession to its sixth straight win.
In game one, the Knights were shutout by the Builders behind starting pitcher Taylor Gomer's four-strikeout, two-hit complete game performance.
The lone runs of the competition were scored in the bottom of the fourth inning as Apprentice's Chris Aldridge reached home on a fielder's choice from Lee Rossi followed directly by a Chris Scarola two-RBI single to left field.
Southern Virginia's best chance to score was in the top of the sixth when sophomore shortstop C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.) led off the inning with a single to right-center and then advanced to second base as teammate freshman outfielder Tyler Clark (Idaho Falls, Idaho) was walked. Andrus, however, was stranded at second when the inning ended.
Andrus and junior first baseman Josh Linn (Muskogee, Okla.) recorded the Knights' two base-hits of the game—Linn recorded a single through the middle of the infield in the fourth.
The Builders' Gomer improved to 3-1 on the season while senior left-hander and last week's USCAA Pitcher of the Week Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah) moved to 4-2 in the loss, despite allowing three runs on three hits in 6.0 innings pitched.
After two complete innings of scoreless ball on both sides, Southern Virginia plated the first run in the top of the third as junior second baseman Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) singled to left-center and then stole second base before senior co-captain Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) knocked in Stevenson on a double to left field.
Apprentice answered back with three runs to gain the lead through three complete (3-1) as Aldridge registered an RBI-single to right field to get things started. Devorn Lake tripled in Aldridge and Brock Harris later in the bottom of the third.
In the fifth inning, the Builders extended their lead as Harris crossed home plate on an RBI-single from Cody Seals.
The Knights made their attempt at a comeback with a double down the right field line by senior outfielder Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) to bring in Clark for a 4-2 deficit. The rally was cut short, however, as three of the final four Southern Virginia outs were by strikeout on route to the Knight's fourth consecutive loss of the season.
Da. Brown and Hintze each registered doubles in game two while Clark and senior catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, S.C.) went 1-for-3 at the plate respectively.
Apprentice's Ryland Edwards (3-0) earned the win after tossing 5.2 innings and allowing two runs on five hits.
Southern Virginia starter sophomore Thomas Rudd (Edmond, Okla.) was handed the loss after allowing three runs on four hits through 4.0 innings—none of the three runs were earned—to move to a 3-2 record. Senior lefty Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.) threw 1.1 innings of shutout ball.
Baseball heads on the road for its ninth straight road game on Apr. 3, in the first of a two-game season series against ODAC-foe Eastern Mennonite University—the Knights takes on the Royals in Covington, Va., on Apr. 17 as well.
Follow live stats as the Knights take on the Royals.