W&L Baseball Swept by Averett to Open 2012

DANVILLE, Va. -- The Washington and Lee baseball team opened its 2012 campaign, dropping a doubleheader at Averett University on Sunday afternoon.

W&L (0-2) dropped the opening game, 4-2, then fell, 7-2, in the nightcap.

In the opener, the Generals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when junior catcher Will Salley (Augusta, Ga./Westside) singled, advanced to second on walk then took third on a fielder's choice. Junior rightfielder Joe Scalzo (Ridgefield, Conn./Brunswick) then grounded out to second base, driving in Salley.

The Cougars (2-1) evened the contest at 1-1 in the third inning on a an RBI single to right by James Fiorella. AU added three more runs in the fourth inning on a bunt, and a fielding error that allowed two runs to take a 4-1 lead. 

In the top of the seventh inning, the Generals inched closer on a two-out RBI single by first-year third baseman Nick Biumi (Cummings, Ga./Lambert) that scored junior first baseman Alex Maragos (Chicago, Ill./Loyola). With two runners on base, a popout by senior centerfielder Mike Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) ended the contest.

Junior Ian Shaw (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood) started for W&L and took the loss (0-1), allowing four runs (3 ER) on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Senior Pat Smith (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits with a strikeout. Firs-year Matt Hedberg (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) added a perfect inning of relief, striking out two.

Salley finished 1-for-3 with a run scored and Scalzo and Biumi were both 1-for-3 with an RBI. Maragos walked twice and scored one run.

Jimbo Newcombe was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs for Averett and James Fiorella finished 1-for-3 with two runs driven in. Tyler Long picked up the win, going the full 7.0 innings and allowing just three hits. He walked two and struck out four.

In the nightcap, Averett tallied three first-inning runs off W&L senior Roger Strong (Spencerport, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) in coasting to the win.

The Cougars added a single run in the third and two more in the fourth to go up 6-0 before Washington and Lee scratched across two runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 6-2 ballgame.

With one out, senior second baseman Alston James (Columbia, S.C./Hammond) and junior shortstop Jonathan Stutts (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) hit back-to-back doubles and a throwing error by Averett allowed James to score the Generals' first run. Salley made it three straight two-baggers, driving in Stutts with a double to left. A single by sophomore leftfielder Keegan Dolan (Bethesda, Md./Landon) gave W&L two runners on with just one out, but back-to-back strikeouts extinguished the rally.

The Cougars added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to account for the final 7-2 score.

Stutts finished 3-for-4 at the plate with one run scored. Salley and Dolan both finished 2-for-4 and James was 1-for-3 with a walk. Strong (0-1) lasted 3.0 innings, allowing four runs (3 ER) on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Junior Andy Clifford (Matthews, N.C./Charlotte Christian), first-year Cory Smith (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) and sophomore Jake Rudolph (Cordova, Tenn./Memphis University School) all pitched an inning in relief.

Tyler Muench picked up the win for Averett, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 6.0 innings. James Carter finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run to lead the Cougars. Timothy Coston was 2-for-2 with two runs driven in.

The Generals return to action on Feb. 20, when they travel to LaGrange for a 3:00 pm contest.