Elmira sweeps opener, Stevens winner at home

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Nick Cottone scattered two hits and four free passes in
6.0 innings as he won the first season opener in the
short history of the Elmira program.

Elmira athletics photo

It was a historic start to the 2019 campaign for Elmira on Monday, as a doubleheader sweep of Greensboro allowed the Soaring Eagles to open a season with wins for the first time in the program's five-year existence. The Soaring Eagles scored early and often in the first game and held on for an 8-5 victory. In the nightcap, a pitcher's duel turned into an exciting late-inning rally, as EC overcame a four-run deficit in the eighth and ninth to secure a 6-5 win.

Sophomore Thomas Paulich drove in a run for the second game in a row and classmate Roy Iversen struck out five in his first collegiate start as Stevens won their home opener with a 3-2 non-conference victory over SUNY-Old Westbury at Dobbelaar Field. Stevens added single runs to the score in the first, third and sixth innings as they led wire-to-wire.

Ian Shaffer drove in five on two home runs and Zack Landy struck out four over fiver innings as Alvernia picked up its first win of the season, 9-4, over Kean. Landy went five and a third for the Golden Wolves, striking out four, to earn the win. Kyle Gaynor pitched three and a third in relief for Alvernia, allowing just two hits and striking out three, to get the save. Shaffer led Alvernia's offense with two homers and five RBIs to lead Alvernia's offense.

Berry defeated LaGrange 9-7 after rallying from a 5-0 deficit. The win improves Berry’s record to 7-2 on the season and caps their sixth straight victory. Luke Crawford earned the win pitching 4.2 scoreless innings allowing only two hits and striking out seven. William Gibbons also claimed his third save of the year, tossing 2.0 innings of scoreless ball.

Freshman left-hander Blake Benson spun a complete game shutout in his first collegiate start. Benson went eight innings, fanned eight and scattered five hits in a 10-0 win. It was the first shutout for the Eagles since 2016. The win also gave the Eagles the sweep over Westminster (Mo.). Benson worked quickly in the first striking out two batters and forcing a flyout. He retired the side in the second and then gave up two hits in the third. He also retired the side in the fourth. He induced a double play in the sixth and retired the side in the seventh and eighth innings to keep the shutout intact. The Eagles' offense manufactured a steady dose of runs for Benson throughout the game. Chase Edwards highlighted the offense with a two-run shot in the fourth. Edwards finished 2-for-5 with five RBI. Earlier in the day, the Eagles finished up a win over Westminster (Mo.) that was suspended due to darkness on Sunday.

Junior Matthew Spagnolo and freshman Mark Evans each had three hits to lead Hampden-Sydney to a 12-4 non-conference road win at Averett at Owen-Fulton Field in Danville. Senior Trent Jacobs gained the pitching victory in middle relief for the visiting Tigers (2-1). H-SC had 12 runs on 17 hits … scoring one run in the first inning, six runs in the sixth, two runs in the seventh, one run in the eighth and two more runs in the ninth for the victory. The Tigers trailed 3-1 through five innings before scoring 11 runs over the final four frames.