Generals bested by Southern Virginia, 6-3

Chris Cotton

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee baseball team was unable to overcome a pair of three-run innings by Southern Virginia, falling to the Knights, 6-3, on Thursday at home.

Senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) was hit by a pitch to lead off the home half of the first inning and moved up to second two batters later when senior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) walked on four pitches. Two batters later, Feeley took off from second and slid in safely at third for his third stolen base of the season. During the play, Loewenberg stole second, but a wild throw from the catcher made its way into center field, allowing Feeley to score the game's first run.

The Knights (5-2) responded in the top of the second when sophomore center fielder Canon Anderson singled to left center to lead things off, before moving up to third on a single to left from senior shortstop Ryan Morin. After Anderson scored on a passed ball to tie the game, sophomore right fielder Mitch Tyse singled to put Morin on third, followed by a single to right from sophomore designated hitter Jonathan Soto. The scoring was capped in the inning when sophomore second baseman Jordan Nase grounded out to the pitcher, allowing Tyse to score from third to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.

Three of the first four W&L batters reached base to start the bottom of the second before senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) singled to second to bring home first-year catcher Brian Wickman (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional), who walked to lead off the inning.

Each of the first three SVU batters reached base to begin the top of the fourth, on two hits and an error, to load the bases with nobody out. Nase then grounded into a fielder's choice to short, allowing Tyse, who singled to lead off the inning, to score from third. With runners on second and third and one out, junior left fielder Caleb Layden doubled to left center to bring sophomore catcher Hunter Blunt in to score to give the Knights a 5-2 lead. The scoring in the inning concluded when junior first baseman Cole Critchfield hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Nase.

The score held at 6-2 in favor of SVU until the bottom of the seventh inning when Jones reached first on a fielding error with one out. After stealing second for his first stolen base of the season, Jones came around to score when Loewenberg laced a pitch into the right-center field gap for a double.

But that was as close as the Generals came the rest of the game, as SVU sophomore closer Matt Roll kept W&L off the board over the final two innings.

Jones led the way for the Generals' offense with a 2-for-5 game which included an RBI, a run and a stolen base. Loewenberg chipped in with a 1-for-2 performance with a double, an RBI and three walks.

The Generals used nine pitchers in the contest, one in each inning, with junior Jackson Thigpen (Potomac, Md./St. John's College) getting the start and a no decision after pitching a scoreless first. Sophomore Nate Cohen (Atlanta, Ga./North Springs) (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs in the second inning on five hits. Senior Kevin McHugh (Forest Hill, Md./McDonogh School) surrendered three runs (one earned) on three hits in the fourth inning after junior Ben Greer (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School) tossed a scoreless third.

Sophomores Chase Fleming (Pennington, N.J./Princeton Day School) and Peyton McCann (Midlothian, Va./James River), senior Andrew Earvolino (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier), junior Chris Cotton (Charlotte, N.C./Covenant Day School) and sophomore Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley) pitched the final five innings of the game, combining for no runs allowed on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Knights were led by a pair of three-hit efforts from Layden and Anderson. Layden doubled twice and drove in a run, while Anderson singled three times, scored once and stole a base. Tyse and Morin went 2-for-4 apiece and combined for three runs scored.

First-year Bryndon Buckley got the start for the Knights, but was relieved with no outs in the second after allowing two runs (one earned) on no hits and three walks. First-year Marshall Davis (1-0) earned the win after totaling 3.0 innings of work and allowing no runs on one hit with two walks and a strikeout. First-year Austin Forsyth pitched the next three innings and allowed an unearned run on three hits, before Roll finished the game, allowing just one hit over the final two frames to earn his first save of the year.

The Generals will be back in action on Saturday when they host Lynchburg in an ODAC doubleheader. First pitch for game one is slated for 12:00 pm.