LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee baseball team dropped an 8-6 decision to Shenandoah on Wednesday afternoon, in a game that swayed momentum throughout.
Trailing by a score of 5-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Generals (11-14, 5-9 ODAC) tied the game on a one-out double to right from senior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore), followed by a two-run single from senior second baseman Ben Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) two batters later.
But the Hornets (12-7, 6-5 ODAC) responded in the top of the seventh with three runs of their own, on an infield single from junior right fielder Tyler Kroll and a two-run home run to right off the bat of junior left fielder Keegan Woolford.
W&L got one run back in the bottom of the eighth inning when sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to cap the scoring in the game.
A four-run Shenandoah fifth inning put the Hornets ahead, 5-2, as senior designated hitter Ryan Coulon tied the game with a sac fly to right, followed by a bases loaded walk from junior catcher Jacob Peters gave the Hornets their first lead. The frame was capped by a two-run single to right center from senior second baseman Tristan Baker.
Senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) got things going for the Generals' offense in the bottom of the first inning, leading off with an infield single before later scoring the game's first run on a passed ball.
A W&L error in the top of the second allowed Shenandoah senior third baseman Jamie Naill to score and tie the game, but a single to right from W&L junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) in the bottom of the third inning put the Generals back ahead by a run.
Feeley, Decembrino and junior catcher Bryce Burnette (Hurt, Va./Gretna) all logged two hits in the game for the W&L offense. Feeley and Burnette both scored once while Decembrino drove in a pair of runs. Loewenberg went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run and his team-leading 19th walk of the season.
The Generals used nine pitchers in the game. Junior right-hander Jackson Thigpen (Potomac, Md./St. John's College) got the start and earned a no decision after tossing three innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits, with three walks and a strikeout. Junior reliever Kenneth Hartzfeld (Marietta, Ga./Westminster School) (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing one run in 0.1 inning, the go-ahead Hornets' run in the seventh.
Senior Jack Boyce (Armonk, N.Y./Ioan Prep) worked the final 1.1 innings, allowing no runs on one hit and a walk.
Kroll paced the Shenandoah offense with a 4-for-5 performance, finishing the game with two runs, an RBI and a walk as the only Hornet with multiple hits. Baker and Woolford combined to go 2-for-7 at the plate, but both drove in two runs, with Baker earning three walks.
First-year righty Calvin Pastel tossed 5.1 innings as the starting pitcher, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits. Senior reliever Michael Robst (1-1) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to follow Pastel and earn his first win of the season.
First-year Carson Kalina and senior Brandon McKenzie worked the eighth inning, allowing one run on two walks combined, before junior closer Gerard DePhillips closed with a scoreless ninth inning, including two strikeouts, to earn his seventh save of the season.
The Generals will be back in action in their home regular season finale on April 13 in a doubleheader against Virginia Wesleyan. First pitch for game one is slated for 12:00 pm.