Rocky Mount, N.C. – The Wittenberg University baseball team closed out their three-game series with Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan, finishing off their first series sweep of the season. Wittenberg took the first game 11-7, collecting 14 hits in the first game. The Tigers would have to battle back in game two, overcoming a 7-3 deficit in the three innings of action to take the final decision 10-7 after holding the Battling Bishops scoreless over the final four innings. The Tigers tallied 29 hits through the two games on the second day of action, while allowing just 13 Battling Bishops to earn hits. Five Tiger hitters earned multiple hits in each game of the doubleheader against North Carolina Wesleyan. Matt Baker and Gabe Stacy finished with five hits and three runs scored on the day, while Tim Bates added four hits and three runs scored through the two games of action.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, plating their first run in the first inning with Hayden Knox wearing an inside N.C. Wesleyan pitch with the bases loaded to bring in Stacy. After the Bishops brought in four of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Gage Carpenter would be the next to reach on a Bishop throwing error from the hot corner, scoring Jordan Jolly for the second Wittenberg run. Carpenter would score later in the inning on a passed ball, chipping away at the N.C. Wesleyan lead one run at a time. Wittenberg would tie the game a 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning, as Stacy would bring in Jolly on the RBI single to left field. The Tiger offense would come alive for five runs in the fifth inning, starting with a Knox RBI single to score Bates, giving Wittenberg their first lead since the first run of the game crossed home. A Jolly double to left center plated two runs, scoring Mason Davis and Knox to give the Tigers the 7-4 advantage. A Baker single through the right side would bring home Jolly for the fourth Wittenberg run of the inning. A Stacy single to the right side would bring in Baker for the final run of the fifth inning. Keeping the Battling Bishops off the board in the bottom half of the fifth, Wittenberg added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Knox brought home Bates on the sacrifice fly to extend the Tiger lead to 10-4. Davis knocked in the final Wittenberg run on a double to left, scoring Jack Siefert from first.
Rusty Hayhurst got the nod to start game one, facing nine Battling Bishop batters allowing two hits in two-thirds innings pitched. Michael Martin came on for some long relief, throwing five and a third against 21 North Carolina Wesleyan hitters to pick up the win. Martin gave up two hits, allowed one run and struck out five. Brandon Beegle threw the final inning of action, striking out one without allowing a hit or run.
Wittenberg had to battle back in game two, as the Battling Bishops were the first to strike plating the first run in the bottom of the first inning. The Tigers took back three runs in the top of the third inning, starting with a Baker single through the left side scoring Ryan Probst for the first Witt run of the third game. A two-run RBI by Patrick Kenny through the right side, brought home Baker and David Hamrick. North Carolina Wesleyan tacked on six runs in the bottom of the third inning, as the Wittenberg defense would go on to keep the Battling Bishops off the board for the remainder of the game. Chipping away at the N.C. Wesleyan lead, Hamrick brought in one Wittenberg run on an RBI single to center field scoring Probst. Adding three runs in the fifth inning and tying the game at 7-7, the Tigers started their scoring rally with a Bates RBI single down the left field line to score Stacy. After Jolly hit into a double play between second and short, Kenny came across for the second Tiger run of the inning while Bates advanced to third. With Paul Stanley at the plate and reaching first on the Battling Bishop throwing error, Bates would cross for the third Wittenberg run of the fifth inning. Scoring two more in the sixth inning, Kenny brought in the first run on an RBI single through the right side to score Baker. A sacrifice fly to center field by Bates would bring home Stacy extending the Wittenberg lead out to 9-7. Leading off the inning with a single up the middle, Jolly was put into scoring position on the sacrifice bunt by Jeremy McAleese. Jolly would advance and score on back-to-back wild pitches for the final run of the game.
Jace Barga started game two, throwing three full innings against 18 hitters. Barga would allow five hits on the day, while striking out two. Making way for Adam Mays to come on for one inning of work, facing four Battling Bishops batters and allowing one hit. Andrew Goodpaster earned the win over the final two innings of work, allowing just two hits against eight batters faced. Beegle would come on for his first save of the season with one inning pitched, allowing one hit and striking out one while facing five in the final inning.
UP NEXT: Wittenberg will return to action with a three-game series at Guilford starting on Friday, March 9 with their first two of a doubleheader set to begin at 12:00 PM.
.@wittbaseball takes game one from N.C. Wesleyan 11-5!— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) March 7, 2018
Matt Baker and Tim Bates collect multiple hits for the Tigers, while the Wittenberg pitching staff strikes out six! #TigerUp pic.twitter.com/0cSpu5YekG