By Sam Armstrong
CARY, N.C. – The Southern Virginia University baseball team opened up its season this weekend at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C., going 1-2 against William Peace University. The Knights lost both the opening game on Friday 6-1, and the first game on Saturday 6-5 in extra innings, but came away with a 4-3 win Saturday evening.
The offense for the Knights (1-2) struggled in its opening game on Friday against the Pacers' (2-1) pitching, compiling only four hits and failing to score until a Dallin Stanton groundout plated Tate Briggs, who doubled to lead off the inning. Junior Ryan Morin had a solid game, ending with a hit, a walk, and two stolen bases. Senior Tayler Peterson started on the hill, pitching four innings in the loss. Jonathan Hodges pitched the final four frames, giving up only one run on four hits.
Southern Virginia started the day off on Saturday by scoring five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-4 advantage. The Pacers were able to tie the game up in the sixth, sending the game into extra innings. The game ended on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, putting off the Knights' first win of the year for a few more hours with the Pacers taking a 6-5 win.
Most of the offense for the Knights came from senior Ryan Saunders and Morin in the first two spots of the lineup, with Saunders going 3-4 with two RBIs, and Morin going 3-4 with one RBI. Bridget Taylor and Koby Hill also knocked in a runner each. Seth Burris started on the mound, giving up four runs and striking with six strikeouts over four and two-thirds innings. Michael Stirling struck out two in the loss.
The Knights put everything together in the second game of the day, winning 4-3. The squad scored one run in each of the first four innings, and while the Pacers scored three of their own in the sixth, The Knights held on for the victory.
Jonathan Soto took over on the mound, striking out nine and giving up only one run over five and one-third, while Jonathan Hodges picked up the save. Four Knights had multi-hit games, including Saunders and Stetson Kay, who each had a pair of hits and an RBI, Bridger Taylor, who hit a home run with two RBIs, and outfielder Canon Anderson, who smacked a triple in the sixth.
The Knights take the field again on Saturday as Lynchburg College comes to town for a double-header. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. at Parry McCluer High School in Buena Vista, Va.