By Sam Armstrong
BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Southern Virginia men's baseball team squeaked out a pair of one-run wins on Saturday afternoon, besting Penn State-Mont Alto 6-5 in game one of the double-header, and winning 5-4 in game two.
"We didn't play the cleanest baseball ever, but our guys showed a lot of resiliency and we made plays when we needed to," Coach Mann commented. "These close games that we've been having will pay off as we get into conference play."
Down by two in the sixth inning of game one, the Knights (5-3) drew a pair of walks with the bases loaded to tie the game at 5-5. In the bottom of the seventh, a Nate McCallum double brought Brady Lamb around to third, who then scored after the throw got past the third baseman for the walk-off run.
McCallum went 3-3 for the game including two doubles and a walk, while freshman Canon Anderson finished with a pair of hits and an RBI, and first baseman Cole Critchfield went 1-2 with two RBIs. The Knights showed excellent patience at the plate, drawing 10 free passes from the Nittany Lions (0-4).
Jonathan Soto picked up the win for Southern Virginia in relief, going four and two-thirds innings while striking out four and giving up only two hits.
Game two of the day was another nail-biter with the Knights pulling out a 5-4 win.
The team got off to a quick start with Bridger Taylor and Tate Briggs each singling in a run in the first inning, and Anderson driving in another run with a double in the second to take a 3-1 lead. After the Lions took a 4-3 advantage, Taylor and Critchfield came through in the fifth to make the game 5-4, a lead the Knights would not give up thanks to clutch pitching from Jonathan Hodges and Stetson Kay.
Critchfield, Taylor, and left fielder Caleb Layden each had a pair of hits in the game to help Southern Virginia to 10 total. Senior Tayler Peterson started the game on the mound and pitched a solid game, lasting five innings and giving up four runs with four strikeouts.
The Knights look to continue their four-game winning streak on Thursday as they travel to Roanoke College. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. in Salem, Va.