Roanoke takes two from W&L as pitchers' duel follows offensive shootout

Danny Devereux

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee baseball team dropped a pair of ODAC contests to Roanoke, 14-6 and 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Cap'n Dick Smith Field.

The Maroons (7-7, 4-0 ODAC) got off to a fast start in game one, scoring at least once in each of the first six innings. They began the game with three runs in the top of the first on RBI singles from sophomore catcher Gavin Kandrick, first-year left fielder Hunter Andrews and senior shortstop Dean Hermanson. 

After tacking on another run in the second inning, Roanoke added four runs in the top of the third, highlighted by a two-RBI triple to left center from Hermanson, to go along with run-scoring singles from junior third baseman Jack Howard and senior center fielder Scott Ellis, as the Maroons moved ahead, 8-0.

Andrews increased the Roanoke lead to 10-0 in the top of the fourth on a two-run home run down the left-field line, before the Generals (8-9, 2-5 ODAC) got on the board in the bottom half of the frame. Sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) led off with a single and then came around to score on a two-out double to left off the bat of junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland). Sophomore center fielder Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley) followed with a double of his own to bring Monson in to score and cut the deficit back to eight runs.

Three more runs in the top of the fifth from Roanoke gave the Maroons a 13-2 lead, as sophomore right fielder Will Smith drove in a run on a double two batters before sophomore first baseman Will Merriken homered to left. The final Roanoke run of the game came across in the top of the sixth on an RBI groundout from Smith.

The Generals' offense came alive in the final three frames, scoring two runs in the seventh and one run in both the eighth and ninth innings on eight hits over that stretch. Volpicelli drove in both runs in the seventh on a single up the middle, senior Ben Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) doubled in the eighth to bring a run home and junior designated hitter Ben Capouya (San Marino, Calif./San Marino) brought in a run in the ninth on a sharp single.

W&L knocked out 16 hits in the first game, which came from 11 different players, while the Maroons' 17 hits came from 10 different players.

The first run of game two came in the second inning when Hermanson hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score sophomore designated hitter Will Salva. In the seventh, the Maroons doubled their lead to two runs on another sac fly, this time off the bat of Merriken. The final Roanoke run crossed home plate when an error with the bases loaded extended the inning, bringing in Smith.

W&L's best chance at scoring in game two came in the seventh inning when it loaded the bases with nobody out. Roanoke sophomore reliever Kevin Ledford proceeded to strike out first-year second baseman Jackson Gazin (Reisterstown, Md./The Boy's Latin School of Md.), before getting a pop out and a ground out from the next two hitters to escape the threat. 

Volpicelli led the way for the Generals' offense with five hits between the two games, including three in game two, to go along with two RBI and a run scored. Senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) tallied three hits in game one, while senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) added two hits in the first game to close in on the W&L all-time hits record. He ended the day with 185 career hits and needs just five more to break Johnathan Stutts' '13 all-time mark.

Junior left-hander Carson McKoon (Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie School) (3-2) took the loss in game one after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in 2.2 innings. Senior righty Jack Boyce (Armonk, N.Y./Iona Prep) followed McKoon, but surrendered five runs on four hits over the next 1.2 innings. Sophomore Peyton McCann (Midlothian, Va./James River) and junior Ben Greer (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School) combined to work the final 4.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts.

In game two, senior Kevin McHugh (Forest Hill, Md./McDonogh School) (0-1) was the losing pitcher, but allowed just one earned run in two innings of work. Junior Tom Kellogg (San Antonio, Texas/Saint Mary's Hall) tossed the 2.0 innings and gave up no runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts, while senior closer Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) worked the final five innings, allowing two unearned runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Smith paced the Roanoke offense with five hits across both games, three in game two, to go along with two RBI and two runs. Kandrick tallied a pair of hits in both games, while senior second baseman Cody Shell and junior third baseman Jack Howard logged three hits each on the day.

Senior Kenny Mackovic (1-0) earned the win in game one after allowing two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work. First-year reliever Chris Dudley allowed two runs over the next three innings and first-year Waring Garber closed, giving up two runs on four hits in two innings.

Senior lefty Ben West got a no decision in game two after starting the game with four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Sophomore reliever Kevin Ledford (2-0) earned the win after not allowing a run over the next four innings, with three hits and five strikeouts. Senior closer Cam Eck nailed down his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning and a pair of strikeouts.

The Generals will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Eastern Mennonite for a 3:00 pm ODAC game.