Marlins Fall to NC Wesleyan in Season Opening Doubleheader
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.- Despite strong first outings from Justin Erby and Randy Neisz, the Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team fell twice at N.C. Wesleyan in extra innings on Saturday.
Game 1: 8-4 N.C. Wesleyan Victory (10 innings)
The first game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Taylor Erby singled out to left field. He advanced to second on a failed pick-off attempt, moving up to third base on the error before scoring on a Randy Neisz single.
Chance Pauley, making his Virginia Wesleyan debut, starting the contest with four no-hit innings before the Battling Bishops put the first two runners on in the fifth with a pair of singles. A sacrifice bunt moved the two runners up, but VWC got out of the jam while preserving the 1-0 lead.
Pauley the leadoff batter, Will Graves, in the sixth where he moved up on a groundout and raced home on a single by Brad Pennington.
C.J. Linsday reached first on a fielder's choice in the seventh before a Zack Clark single to left-center allowed Lindsay to advance to second. Following a passed ball, a single by Jordy Ellis scored both.
The Bishops came back to tie it in the bottom of the seventh inning, making it 3-3 despite the Marlins collecting two quick outs.
The Marlins went on to score again in the eighth and the Bishops again in the ninth to knot the score at four and head into extra innings.
N.C. Wesleyan led off the tenth with a double, followed by an intentional walk, and fielder's choice to load the bases. Tony Sanchez hit a grand slam to right for the final margin.
Ellis finished the first game 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI while Clark and Taylor Erby had two hits and a run scored. Pauley allowed an unearned run on three hits in six innings of work.
Game 2: 6-5 N.C. Wesleyan Victory (8 innings)
Justin Erby led off the second game with a homer to left field for the game's first run. Brandon Kussmaul followed that up with a double to left field, and advanced to third after Taylor Erby reached first on an error made by the shortstop. Neisz gets his second RBI of the season after he flew out to center, allowing Kussmaul to score, putting the Marlins on top 2-0 in the first inning.
The Battling Bishops evened the score in the bottom of the second when a walk and a single put the runners on the corners for Brandon Wheat, who singled home the man from third for a 2-1 margin. Nick Beaver flew out a batter later to score Sanchez to even the score.
Both teams collected runs in the middle innings off errors, resulting in a 4-3 NCWC lead before a Neisz homer in the top of the fifth evened the score once again.
The Marlins were again forced into extra innings. To start the eighth inning, C.J. Lindsay walked, and advanced to second after Corey King grounded out to third base. Justin Erby tripled to right center earning his second RBI of the game as Lindsay raced home for a 5-4 lead.
Sanchez walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth in front of a Wheat single. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up where an RBI groundout and a bunt single by Luis Palencia ended the contest for the hosts.
Hammond went 4-for-4 with a run scored for the Marlins while Justin Erby went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI.
Virginia Wesleyan (0-2) will host No. 24 Salisbury University (1-0) Sunday for a 1 p.m. non-conference start.