Greensboro, N.C. – The Wittenberg University baseball team battled the Quakers of Guilford College, starting the three-game series with a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. The Tigers dropped the first game by a narrow 5-4 margin, battling back from an early Quaker lead. Jumping out to an early lead after the top of the first inning game two, Wittenberg fell short by a final of 10-9 in nine innings. The Tiger offense tallied 20 hits on the day. Gabe Stacy went 5 for 9 on the day, knocking in two runs, along with a run scored. David Hamrick tallied two extra-base hits on the afternoon, going 2 for 3 through doubleheader, adding two runs batted in and a run scored.
After the home side took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, going up 2-0. The Tigers began to chip away at the Quaker advantage, plating their first run of the day in the top of the fifth inning. Hayden Knox got the Wittenberg offense going in the top of the inning with a single to right field to start the inning. With runners in scoring position, Matt Baker reached on the fielder's choice, bringing in Hamrick for the first Tiger run of the game. The Quakers matched the Wittenberg run with a score of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Wittenberg would bring the bats out in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on three hits. Senior Tim Bates was the first Wittenberg runner to reach safely on a single through the left side followed by a Jack Siefert base hit up the middle. A Hamrick double down the left field line after a Knox walk, brought home Bates and Siefert, pushing Knox to third base. After a Guilford pitching change, Hamrick would come in to score the final Wittenberg run with some alert base running on the passed ball.
Rusty Hayhurst took the hill to start game one for Wittenberg, tossing five innings of two-hit baseball while facing 21 Quaker batters. Andrew Goodpaster came in for the final inning, facing four Guilford hitters with no hits allowed.
The Wittenberg offense came out swinging, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Starting with a Stacy single to center field, before quickly swiping second base. Stacy advanced to third on the Bates fly out to right field. Siefert would bring in the first run of the game on an RBI single up the middle, scoring Stacy. After Siefert stole second and Knox drew the walk. A three-run Patrick Kenny homer over the right field fence extended the Wittenberg lead out 4-0 before the top of the first came to a close. Guilford would put three runs on the board in the bottom of the third inning before the Tigers would return in the top of the fourth to add three of their own. A Hamrick double to center field would kick-start another action-packed Wittenberg offensive inning. Baker knocked a two-run triple into center field, scoring Hamrick and Jeremy McAleese. The bunt single by Stacy left everyone safe, bringing in the third Wittenberg run of the inning. The Quakers would add five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, taking an 8-7 advantage. The Tigers would take advantage of their final offensive effort, knotting things up in the top of the seventh at 8-8. After Knox took an inside pitch for a free base, Greg Vanerstrom came on to pinch run, before Kenny drove him in on a double to right center. Another single by Stacy drove in the Wittenberg go-ahead run, giving the Tigers a 9-8 advantage in the top of the eighth inning, scoring Baker after leading the inning off with a single and swiping second base. The Quakers would plate the final run in the bottom of the ninth inning, taking the walk-off win.
Jordan Jolly got the start in game two, tossing three and two-thirds innings, facing seven Guilford hitters with seven hits allowed and striking out five. Brandon Beegle came in to throw four and a third of long relief. Facing 18 Quaker batters, Beegle struck out two and gave up three hits. Adam Mays would come on to face the final four Guilford hitters with one hit allowed.
UP NEXT: Wittenberg will return to action for their final game of their trip on Saturday, March 10 at 12:00 PM against Guilford.