W&L strikes late in 9-1 win over Averett

Tom Kellogg

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee baseball team used four-run sixth and seventh innings to pull away from Averett in a 9-1 win in its 2019 home opener on Sunday.

Senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) singled with one out in the bottom of the first and, after moving up to second on a wild pitch, scored from second on an infield single to second from sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic).

Both pitchers kept the bats quiet throughout the next four innings. Junior right-hander Tom Kellogg (San Antonio, Texas/Saint Mary's Hall) was relieved after five shutout innings of work, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out five.

Junior righty Kenneth Hartzfeld (Marietta, Ga./Westminster School) was first out of the W&L (3-0) bullpen and pitched a scoreless top of the sixth inning, before the Generals' bats woke up in the bottom half of the frame.

Junior designated hitter Bryce Burnette (Hurt, Va./Gretna) led off with a double to center, knocking out sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Traylor, followed by an RBI single to left center from junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) to double the W&L lead. First-year catcher Luke Czepiel (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) moved Monson to third on a single to center, before sophomore center fielder Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Monson.

First-year second baseman Jackson Gazin (Reisterstown, Md./The Boys' Latin School of Md.) then doubled to right, allowing Czepiel to advance to third, before the inning was capped by a two-RBI double to left by senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School).

After Hartzfeld retired the Cougars in order in the top of the seventh, Czepiel came up with the bases loaded and no outs and was hit by a pitch to bring in the sixth W&L run. Whitely then singled to shortstop, allowing Burnette to score from third, before an RBI groundout from Gazin and a sac fly to left from Feeley rounded out the scoring for the Blue and White.

The lone Cougar run came across home in the top of the eighth when, with runners on second and third and two outs, sophomore first baseman Tanner Bradshaw scored on a passed ball. Hartzfeld then ended the threat of an Averett rally by striking out junior shortstop Sawyer Smith to close the frame.

Monson and Volpicelli both finished 3-for-5 in the game, with Monson adding a double, two runs and an RBI. Feeley finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, as his four at-bats moved him into sole possession of fourth on the program's all-time at-bats list (491), while his pair of hits tied him with Bryan Mulhern '04 for sixth most base knocks in program history (166).

Kellogg (1-0) earned the win, needing just 64 pitches to complete his five innings. Hartzfeld finished with 3.0 innings and allowed one unearned run, while allowing no hits, walking one and striking out three. Sophomore left hander Nate Cohen (Atlanta, Ga./North Springs) closed for the Generals with a scoreless ninth inning and allowed one hit and struck out one batter.

The three Averett hits came off the bats of junior right fielder Andrew Lancaster, sophomore left fielder Hunter Majetic and first-year outfielder Jason Maggs, who pinch hit for Lancaster in the ninth. Traylor (0-1) took the loss after allowing two earned run on seven hits in 5.0 innings of work. The Cougars needed four pitchers out of their bullpen to finish the game, as the quartet combined to allow seven earned runs on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout.

W&L held the Cougars to just 3-for-30 (.100) at the plate while hitting 14-for-37 (.378) themselves. With their 14 hits, the Generals have opened the 2019 season with double-digit hits in three straight games for the first time since the first three games of the 2010 season. W&L has also scored 27 runs through its first three games this season, the highest three-game total to begin a season since 2009 (39).

The Generals will return to the diamond on Tuesday when they host Southern Virginia in a 3:30 pm showdown.

-- www.generalssports.com --