VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Wesleyan scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning of game two en route to a doubleheader sweep over the Washington and Lee baseball team on Saturday.
The Generals (7-11, 0-4 ODAC) scored three runs in the final two innings of game one, but came up just short, 6-4, in the opener. The Marlins (10-7, 4-0) used their four-run rally in the ninth to earn a 5-4 victory in game two.
The Blue and White tallied the first two runs in the second game in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, junior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) ripped a single through the right side to plate two runners and give W&L a 2-0 advantage.
VWU notched one run (2-1) in the bottom of the seventh, but the Generals added to their lead in the top of the ninth. W&L had runners on second and third with two outs and senior designated hitter Austin Crane (Darien, Conn./Fairfield College Prep) hit a two-run double to left to extend the margin to 4-1.
The Marlins led off the bottom of the frame with a walk and a double. Junior Andrew Earvolino (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) was brought in out of the pen and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Senior right fielder Randy Neisz then hit a two-run single to right to trim the gap to 4-3. Sophomore pitcher Jackson Thigpen (Potomac, Md./St. John's College) then relieved Earvolino, and he walked the first batter he saw to reload the bases.
Following another walk, which forced in the tying run (4-4), senior left fielder Brady Fallon ended the game with a walk-off RBI single to third to give VWU the 5-4 win. Earvolino (0-1) took the loss. He gave up two runs without recording an out. First-year pitcher Peyton McCann (Midlothian, Va./James River) started the game for W&L. He did not give up a run in 4.0 innings.
Senior pitcher Glen Pizzanello (1-0) earned the victory for the Marlins. He pitched just 0.1 innings, recording the final out in the top of the ninth inning. Senior pitcher Chance Pauley started for VWU. He went 8.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits.
Virginia Wesleyan held a 4-1 edge through seven innings in game one. The Blue and White loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and got one run back (4-2) on a walk by senior third baseman Paul Diven (Sparrows Point, Md./Archbishop Spalding). Sophomore pitcher Jay Crusemire then came on for the Marlins and registered the final two outs without allowing a run to escape the jam.
VWU added two runs in the bottom of the eighth to stretch the advantage to 6-2. With one out in the ninth and Pizzanello pitching, Crane doubled to center, and then first-year second baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) homered to center to bring W&L to within two, 6-4. It marked the first home run of his collegiate career.
The Generals then had runners on first and second following a walk and an error, but Pizzanello struck out the next two batters to close out the game. Sophomore pitcher Jacob Pilarski (3-0) earned the victory for the Marlins. He did not allow a run on one hit with five strikeouts in 5.0 innings. Senior pitcher Tyler Murphy (Chesapeake, Va./Greenbrier Christian Academy) suffered the loss for W&L to fall to 1-2. He gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits and four walks.
For the doubleheader, Loewenberg was 2-for-6 with two RBI and one run scored. Crane finished the day 3-for-8 with 2 RBI and two runs.
The Generals return to action on Tuesday, when they host Eastern Mennonite at 4:00 pm.
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