Thigpen tosses 8.1 innings, earns first career win in 8-2 W&L triumph

Jackson Thigpen

LEXINGTON, Va. – Junior pitcher Jackson Thigpen (Potomac, Md./St. John's College) tossed a career-high 8.1 innings and earned his first career win in the Washington and Lee baseball team's 8-2 win over Bridgewater on Tuesday.

The Eagles (7-14, 2-6 ODAC) scored the game's opening run in the top of the first when junior first baseman Luke Paczewski grounded into a double play, allowing first-year second baseman Jarrett Biesecker to score. Paczewski then put the Eagles up, 2-0, in the top of the third inning when he singled to right to bring in sophomore center fielder Jacob Grabeel.

Thigpen settled in after getting out of the third inning, allowing just six hits over his final 5.1 innings, while walking one batter.

The Generals' (10-12, 4-7 ODAC) offense got going in the bottom of the fifth inning when a pair of doubles, the second by senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School), scored senior second baseman Ben Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep). Sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) drove in Feeley with an RBI single to center two batters later, before Volpicelli scored on a failed pick-off attempt at first base.

W&L struck for three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on run-scoring singles from Decembrino and senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin), with a Feeley RBI groundout in between the base knocks.

The final two W&L runs came home in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore center fielder Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley) doubled to left to put the Generals up 7-2. First-year second baseman Jackson Gazin (Reisterstown, Md./The Boys' Latin School of Md.) followed with a single to right field to score Whitely and close the scoring.

Thigpen (1-0) not only earned his first win of the season, but the first of his career, finishing the game with 8.1 innings, two earned runs allowed, one walk and three strikeouts. Senior closer Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) relieved Thigpen after the Eagles' 14th hit of the game, but Devereux struck out each of the final two batters to end the contest.

Jones finished with three hits in the game, his fourth three-hit effort of the season, including a double, and drove in a run. Whitely tallied a three hits in four at-bats, his third straight multi-hit performance and third consecutive game with at least one extra base hit, while also finishing the day with two runs scored and an RBI.

Junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) and Decembrino notched a pair of hits each in the contest and combined for two runs, an RBI and a stolen base.

The Bridgewater offense was led by Paczewski, who finished the day 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI. Sophomore third baseman Kevin Navedo went 3-for-4 with a double, while Biesecker and junior shortstop Jacob Talley both added 2-for-5 performances.

Senior right-hander Tristan Daywalt (2-3) started on the mound for the Eagles and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, with two walks and four strikeouts over 5.0 innings in taking his third loss of the season. Senior Andrew Berry started the sixth inning, but was tagged for three runs on three hits while only recording two outs.

Senior Ryan Mason came in after Berry and gave up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of work, before junior Tucker Garrison pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing two hits.

The 14 hits in the game for the Generals mark the 15th double-digit hit game for the Blue and White this season, matching last season's mark for such games.

The Generals will return to the diamond on Saturday when they host Hampden-Sydney in an ODAC doubleheader at Cap'n Dick Smith Field. First pitch for the opener is slated for 12:00 pm.