Daniels Crushes Two Grand Slams, Knights Top Lions 22-8

Photo by Dave Hilbert, d3photography.com
Photo by Dave Hilbert, d3photography.com
By Nick Porter

LEXINGTON, Va. – Freshman Riley Daniels became the first Knight in program history to hit two grand slams in a single game Friday afternoon, leading the Southern Virginia University baseball team in a 22-8 win over Penn St.-Mont Alto.

The Lions (0-4) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, answered over the next three innings by the Knights' (2-6) four runs. Three innings later, the Knights had back-to-back innings of nine runs, each aided by a Daniels grand slam.

In the bottom of the sixth, Southern Virginia loaded the bases with three singles, setting up the grand slam opportunity for Daniels, who sailed the ball over the wall in left-center. The Knights then scored five more runs on four more hits, and a Penn St.-Mont Alto error.  

The Lions snagged three runs in the top of the seventh, but weren't as fortunate in the bottom half of the inning.

With one out the Lions walked or hit six batters in a row, allowing the Knights to score a pair of runs and load the bases one more time for Daniels, who sent the ball almost to the same spot as his first at bat of the previous inning.

After the base-clearing bomb, Southern Virginia had three more hits and two more runs to notch 22 points.

Riley Daniel's pair of grand slams marks only the 12th time the feat has been accomplished in the NCAA DIII, and the first time since 2004, according to D3baseball.com.

Tayler Peterson earned his first win on the mound, allowing four runs, including a homer in the first inning, but striking out seven Lions.

Ryan Morin, Cole Critchfield and Kyle Hussein each tallied three RBIis, Josh Hilburn, Ryan Saunders and Zach McNally also batted in a run apiece.

The Knights had 15 hits in the contest, including a double from Saunders. 

Both teams are back in action on Saturday for a doubleheader at Rockbridge County High School beginning at 3 p.m.