Written by Sean Dahlin
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Senior first baseman Trager Hintze (Purcell, Okla.) had a standout game one recording career-highs with two home runs and seven RBI to lead the Southern Virginia University baseball team in a doubleheader split with Guilford College on Saturday, winning the opener 17-7 before dropping the next game 7-6.
"Trager [Hintze] had an exceptional first game at the plate and our offense stayed hot," said fourth-year Head Coach Logan Mann. "We were in the driver's seat in both contests, but weren't able to finish the day with both wins."
Eight of Southern Virginia's (18-13) nine starters registered one-plus base knocks for in the opening victory over Guilford (16-18), including three hits apiece from Knights C.J. Andrus (Federal Way, Wash.), Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) and Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.).
Hintze got Southern Virginia started with a grand slam and Key had an RBI-double to left field for the 5-0 advantage after one complete. The Knights added three more runs in the top of the second highlighted by senior catcher Barrett Price's (Georgetown, S.C.) two-run single through the right side of the infield.
The Quakers answered back in the bottom half of the inning plating six runs of their own as Jordan Slate hit a bases-clearing shot over the left field fence followed by a pair of RBI-singles from Kent Peterson and Ben Esser.
In the third inning, Guilford cut into the deficit 8-7 as Justin Pittman crossed home plate for the team's final score of the game.
The Knights finished the competition with nine unanswered runs beginning with Key singling home Price on the fourth after which Hintze smashed over the right field wall his second homer of the game for three RBIs in the top of the fifth.
Insurance runs were added in the seventh inning highlighted by a three-RBI double down the right field line from Stevenson on route to the 10-run defeat.
After earning his third save against Christendom on Apr. 11, freshman righty Jonathan Hodges (Cleveland, Tenn.) threw 5.1 innings of relief without allowing an earned run to improve to 2-1 on the year. Quaker starter Will James (1-7) was handed the loss in his five-run, six-hit showing in 0.2 innings.
In game two, Southern Virginia took a 6-3 lead before Danny Ditota registered the walk-off score on a Pittman-single through the left side as Guilford plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh for the victory.
The bottom of the seventh began as Peterson doubled in Slate and then D.J. Phillips touched home plate on a sacrifice fly by John Smith. Next, David Cook hit an RBI-single to center field prior to Pittman's game-winner.
Both squads were held scoreless after one complete until J. Smith scored in the bottom of the second. In the top of the third inning, however, senior third baseman Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss.) hit the third grand slam of the day to give the Knights the three-run advantage.
The home team returned the favor as Casey Mann and Slate crossed home in the bottom half of the inning, but Southern Virginia extended its lead 6-3 with an RBI-single by Key in the top of the fourth and RBI-sacrifice fly from Stevenson in the sixth inning.
Andrus and Key, who finished 6-for-8 and 5-for-8 on the afternoon, recorded three and two hits respectively as the lone Knights with multiple base hits in the final game.
The Quakers' relief pitcher Tyler Tuttle (5-1) tossed a perfect seventh while freshman pitcher Scott Austin (Glendale, Ariz.) was given the loss, moving to 0-2 on the season.
Baseball heads home to Covington's Casey Field to face Eastern Mennonite University on Wed., Apr. 17, for the second time this season—the Knights won at EMU 13-6 on Apr. 3. With it also being Senior Night, seniors Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.), Cox, Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah), Hintze, Key and Price will be honored prior to the start of the game.
Listen live as the Knights take on the Royals.