Written by Sean Dahlin
HARRISONBURG, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team snapped its four-game losing streak on Wednesday recording 13 runs and 15 hits of offense—more than the nine runs scored during the Knights' slide through the last four contests—in the 13-6 victory at Eastern Mennonite University.
"It was good to see our offense clicking on all cylinders and our bats hitting in runners in scoring position," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "We hope this win will propel our confidence through the rest of the season."
Senior Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) and junior Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.), who has a team-high .458 average, led the Knights' charge going 3-for-4 and 3-for-5 respectively. Brown swiped a career-high four bags and crossed home for three runs while Stevenson registered two RBI, two runs and a double.
Southern Virginia (13-11) scored the first ten runs of the game through five innings before Eastern Mennonite (13-14) put up its first crooked number on the scoreboard.
The Knights' offensive run started as senior first baseman Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) singled in freshman outfielder Tyler Clark (Idaho Falls, Idaho) in the top of the first. RBI-singles from Stevenson, Clark and Hintze in the second inning along with a run scored by junior third baseman Giovanni Prado (West Valley City, Utah) on a wild pitch moved the visitors ahead for the five-run advantage.
Southern Virginia added five more runs through the next three innings highlighted by a triple from junior Mitchell Mantle (St. George, Utah) to knock in teammate sophomore second baseman C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.).
The Royals got on the scoreboard with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut into the deficit 10-4 thanks to three RBI-singles by Ryan McAllister, Justin Rodriguez and Zach Bowles.
Brown touched home on an Eastern Mennonite wild pitch in the sixth inning then scored his final run of the day in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, S.C.), before the Knights scored their 13th run two batters later as Andrus singled home designated hitter Nicholas Lyons (Bryson City, N.C.).
The Royals attempted a comeback with Rodriguez and Ryan Tierney crossing home plate to cut into the deficit. The home team's rally was stifled, however, as Southern Virginia freshman reliever Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) got Phillip Jordan to ground out back to him for the final out of the competition on route to earning his second save of the year.
Eight of the nine Southern Virginia starters each recorded one-plus hit including Clark, Hintze and Lyons who had two base knocks apiece in the win.
Senior left-handed starter Tyler King (San Ramon, Calif.) allowed one earned run on 11 hits in 5.0 innings to improve to 2-1, and Hodges went 4.0 innings without conceding an earned run in his relief appearance.
Eastern Mennonite's starting pitcher Chris DeWald (1-2) was handed the loss, giving up five hits and five runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Baseball has no time to rest traveling south to take on its second straight ODAC-foe in Roanoke College for a twin bill on Thurs., Apr. 4, starting at 5 p.m.