LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Washington and Lee baseball team used a four-run fifth inning to beat Shenandoah, 7-4, in its first game of the ODAC Tournament. The victory also marked the 400th career victory for head coach Jeff Stickley.
Junior Keegan Dolan (Bethesda, Md./Landon) led off the fifth with a bloop single over the shortstop. Dolan then stole second, and senior Alex Mait (Chesterfield, Va./Clover Hill) reached on a throwing error. A wild pitch by Phillip Morse brought Dolan home to give the Generals (19-15) a 1-0 lead. After a single by senior Joe Scalzo (Ridgefield, Conn./Brunswick), sophomore Taylor Rowe (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) ripped a one-out single to left to plate Mait (2-0).
Senior Jonathan Stutts (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) kept the rally going with a RBI single to right center and Rowe advanced to third on an error by the center fielder. Senior Will Salley (Augusta, Ga./Westside) brought home the final run of the inning on a single to left, 4-0, but Stutts was thrown out trying to advance to third.
In the sixth, the Blue and White loaded the bases with two outs to force Morse out of the game. Ryan Mossman came on in relief, and walked Rowe on four pitches to force in a run (5-0). Stutts plated a second run (6-0) on a single to left, but senior Chris Nault (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood) was thrown out at home to end the inning.
After W&L scored one in the top of the seventh, the Hornets (27-11) plated three in the bottom of the frame. Michael Paul hit a sacrifice fly, and then Dan Powers cut the lead to five, 7-2, on a triple to left. Andrew Creamer followed with a double to the wall in right to plate Powers (7-3). SU got to within three, 7-4, in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Corbin Lucas.
Senior Ian Shaw pitched 6.1 innings for the Generals to improve to 7-2 on the year. He gave up three runs on sixth hits, while striking out four. Junior Nate Plein (El Cajon, Calif./St. Augustine) came on to get the final four outs of the game to record his first save of the season. He struck out three of the four batters. Morse took the loss for Shenandoah, after throwing 5.2 innings. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits.
With each recording a hit in the game, sophomore Drew Weprinsky (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster) and Stutts extended their hitting streaks. Weprinsky has hit in 26 straight and Stutts is at 21 games. Stutts also moved closer to holding the all-time hits record at W&L. He now has 186 in his career, with Michael Hanson '03 in first at 187.
The victory improved Stickley's career record to 400-391-4 (.506) in 27 seasons. He is already the winningest baseball coach in school history, has one ODAC Championship, four ODAC Coach of the Year honors and has had eight 20-win seasons. Over the last 15 years, he has a 315-231-2 record for a .577 winning percentage.
The Generals will play fifth-seeded Randolph-Macon on Friday at 6:00 pm. The Yellow Jackets defeated the two seed, Hampden-Sydney, 7-5, on Thursday.
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