Baseball Upsets No. 1 Shenandoah in ODAC Split

C.J. Lindsay posted seven hits in Saturday's doubleheader
C.J. Lindsay posted seven hits in Saturday's doubleheader

Baseball Upsets No. 1 Shenandoah in ODAC Split

WINCHESTER, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team closed the regular season with some momentum, splitting with No. 1 Shenandoah University on Saturday afternoon. The Marlins won the first game 14-8 before falling 8-7.

Game 1: 14-8 Virginia Wesleyan Victory

Virginia Wesleyan jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Brandon Kussmaul and Randy Neisz produced RBI singles. That lead quickly evaporated as Shenandoah scored six runs over the next two frames to hold a 6-2 lead.

That lead carried into the fourth inning when the Marlins plated four to tie the contest. Jimmy Ziemke and C.J. Lindsay started the inning with back-to-back singles, moving up on a sacrifice bunt. A hit by pitch of Justin Erby loaded the bases with one out. Corey King singled to left field, scoring Ziemke and Lindsay. A wild pitch in the next at bat quickly made it 6-5. A Deon Hammond RBI groundout provided the final score of the frame.

The Marlins put the game away with eight runs in the sixth to take a commanding 14-6 lead. Corey King singled on a bunt to plate the first run. He came around to score, as did Justin Erby, on a Hammond double to make it 9-6.

An error on Ziemke's single later in the frame added two more runs to make it 11-6. Lindsay followed with a two-RBI double, followed up quickly by an RBI single from Austin Obenour to provide the final score.

Lindsay went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI for Virginia Wesleyan. Andrew Lowe (1-1) earned his first career win with four innings of one-run relief. He struck out three while allowing just one hit and one walk.

Game 2: 9-8 Shenandoah Victory

The Marlins looked primed to spring another upset on the number one team in the country in the nightcap before giving up a 7-1 lead late in the game for the loss.

Lindsay stayed hot in the second game, singling up the middle in the second inning to score Neisz for a 1-0 lead. Justin Erby doubled later in the frame to score Lindsay and Obenour for a 3-0 lead.

The Marlins scored two in the third, highlighted by a Neisz RBI double, before scoring two more in the fourth on a two-RBI double by Brandon Kussmaul to give the Marlins a 7-1 lead.

That lead lasted until the bottom of the seventh when Shenandoah plated three to cut the deficit in half.

Shenandoah took advantage of a defensive miscue to take the lead for good in the eighth. Closer Riley Koonce got a quick out to start the frame before Dylan Stouffer reached on a dropped fly ball. Following a single, Christian Rice grounded out for what should have been the third out. Instead, Robert Marcelle singled to drive in a run and make it 7-5. A double by Abel Arocho tied the contest before Tristan Baker singled to plate Arocho with the winning run. All four runs in the frame were unearned.

Arocho went 4-for-5 with four RBI in the second game for Shenandoah (33-5/16-4).

Neisz went 3-for-5 with two runs for VWC while Lindsay added a pair of hits.

Virginia Wesleyan (20-18/11-9) earned the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ODAC tournament held at City Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Marlins will face No. 3 Randolph-Macon (25-12/13-7) Thursday at 6 p.m.