By Wesley Evans
DOVER, Del.—Behind seven innings of shutout ball by sophomore Gage Bigelow and senior Tyler King, the Southern Virginia University baseball team won the second game of a doubleheader with Wesley College 2-0 Friday afternoon in Dover, Del. The Knights dropped the opener in a tight 1-0 battle in the 10th inning against the second-place (CAC) Wolverines.
After relieving left-handed starting pitcher Gage Bigelow, King paced the Knights with 6 innings of shutout ball to earn the win and improve to 2-4 on the year.
Despite a low-scoring affair, the Knight offense came to life in the top half of the fifth as junior CJ Andrus led off the inning with a walk. Southern Virginia played small ball in the inning as freshman Andrew Price bunted Andrus to second. Senior Mitch Mantle reached on a fielding error by the Wesley second baseman, which left runners on first and third for the Knights. Mantle stole second before freshman Ryan Gabriel brought up a nice piece of hitting. After falling 0-2 in the count, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native flied out to right field to bring in Andrus and advance Mantle to third. Outfielder Hunter Allen then singled up the middle to bring in the final Southern Virginia run.
Allen went 2-4 on the day while Zach McNally, Andrus and Mantle also contributed hits for the Knights.
Defense proved to be a difference maker as Southern Virginia had no errors on the day while Wesley recorded two, causing both runs to be unearned.
Wolverine starter Eric Marrero (1-2) was given the loss in the decision allowing two runs, three hits and two walks while recording one strikeout in 5 innings pitched.
Game one featured a 10-inning pitching duel between the Knights' starter Colin Bigelow and Wesley's Eric Willey as the only pitchers of the game. Both offenses were silent throughout as neither team had a runner get passed second base until the final inning.
In the top half of the tenth, Gabriel singled to center field to start things off. He would eventually advance to third with two outs before Keenan Johnson grounded out to end Southern Virginia's threat.
In the bottom half, C. Bigelow recorded two quick outs before giving up a walk to Wolverine outfielder Stan Zulkowski. The Knights had out number three in their hands as Wesley hitter Adam Darling hit a grounder to third base, but a throwing error left runners on first and second. C. Bigelow would walk the next batter, leaving bases loaded and two outs. After working the Knight pitcher to a 3-1 count, Connor Springsteen would force a walk, bringing in the lone and winning run for the Wolverines.
Southern Virginia starter C. Bigelow (0-4) was given the loss in the game as he allowed one run, two hits and five walks while recording seven strikeouts in 9.2 innings pitched.
Wesley's starting pitcher Willey (2-2) pitched a complete game 10-inning shutout, giving up three hits, one walk and recording 10 strikeouts while facing 33 batters.
Baseball is back in action next Wednesday, April 2 as it hosts CAC member Christopher Newport. This will be the second meeting between the two squads this season as the Captains took the first game 3-1 back in mid-March. Game time is slated for 3 p.m. at Parry McCluer High School in Buena Vista, Va.