WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - No. 19/21 Shenandoah University opened up its 2012 NCAA Newport News Baseball Regional Wednesday evening with a 5-4 victory over No. 18/24 Rowan (N.J.).
The Hornets (30-13) rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to take out the Profs (30-14).
Shenandoah, the third-seed in the six-team regional, advances to take on second-seeded Salisbury on Thursday at 4:30.
Wednesday's contest was originally scheduled for a 4:30 start at Captains Park on the campus of Christopher Newport University, but was moved to Plumeri Park at the College of William & Mary after thunderstorms were forecast for the Newport News area.
SU struggled a bit with the delay, as RU jumped on Hornets starter Vince Claudio (7-1) for two runs on four hits and one walk in the first.
Claudio helped himself out by picking off a runner and then got a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The twin killing was one of three that Shenandoah had on the day - reliever Kyle Scallion closed the book on the game by getting designated hitter Kevin McMenamin to ground into a bases loaded 6-3 DP.
Scallion posted his fifth save of the spring by recording the final five outs of the contest - coming on with runners on second and third in the eighth, he induced a lineout and groundout to first to put SU three outs from victory.
In the ninth, he recorded an inning-opening strikeout, but then saw the Profs get two singles before intentionally walking four-hole hitter Nick Turano to load the bases.
McMenamin then ground the ball three steps to the left of second base, where Kurt Krout scooped it up and relayed to Cory Nelson at first for the final two outs of the game.
Trailing 3-1 after RU scored two runs in the first and one in the second, Shenandoah tied the game with a two-run third.
Nelson had the first RBI, on a single to left, before Nick Beall evened matters with a single to right.
Beall, who was one of four SU players with two hits, gave the Hornets the lead in the fifth with a single to right center. His single plated Nelson from second, who had reached on a two-base throwing error by Rowan third baseman Mark Benak.
Freshman Michael Paul had the eventual game-winning RBI with a double to right center to score Tucker Brown. Brown reached on a single to left.
Claudio allowed four runs (three earned) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out one.
Steven Melchiorre (5-2) took the loss for Rowan. He gave up the five runs (four earned) on 11 hits and one walk.
Melchiorre struck out five.