Baseball Moves up in ODAC Standings with Saturday Sweep

Deon Hammond
Deon Hammond

Baseball Moves up in ODAC Standings with Saturday Sweep

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team extended its winning streak to three games, and moved into fourth place in the ODAC standings, with an ODAC doubleheader sweep over Roanoke College on Saturday.

Game 1: 10-1 Virginia Wesleyan Victory

The Marlins scored the first three runs of the game to take an early lead after the first inning. Corey King singled on a bunt, moving to second on a Justin Erby hit by pitch. Randy Neisz singled to center to score King for the 1-0 lead. Deon Hammond reached on a fielder's choice to plate Justin Erby. Taylor Erby rounded out the scoring with an RBI double to plate Hammond.

Roanoke scored a lone run in the third inning, but the Marlins answered with one in the fourth, two in the fifth, and three in the sixth to jump out to a 9-1 lead.

A Justin Erby RBI single in the fifth and Deon Hammond RBI double in the sixth highlighted the Marlin scoring.

A stellar performance from freshman pitcher Patrick Monteverde kept the Maroons scoreless for the latter innings of the game. Monteverde allowed eight hits in eight innings, surrendering a lone unearned run while striking out four. Monteverde threw 121 pitches on the afternoon, 79 for strikes.

King led the way offensively, going 5-for-5 at the plate with four runs scored and three doubles while Justin Erby had three hits and three runs scored to go with three hits and three RBI from Hammond.

Game 2: 9-8 Virginia Wesleyan Victory

Virginia Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two on a long homerun by Brandon Kussmaul, but Roanoke responded with two runs in the third and fourth, and one more in the fifth to go up 5-1.

The Marlins answered in the bottom of the fifth with four runs to tie the game. C.J. Lindsay and Kussmaul singled around an error that put Zack Clark on base to load the bags with no one out. King stepped up to the plate and singled to left-center, scoring Lindsay and Clark. Another Maroon error allowed Kussmaul to race home to cut the deficit to 5-4. A wild pitch during the next at bat allowed King to sprint home for the game-tying run.

Roanoke quickly regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a RBI single from Craig Kiley and two-RBI double off the bat of Dean Hermanson.

The Marlins started the bottom of the sixth when Taylor Erby and Jimmy Ziemke singled, setting the plate for Clark. The young Marlin launched a ball deep over the left-field wall for his first homerun, tying the game at eight in the process.

Virginia Wesleyan scored the game-winning run in the eighth when Lindsay walked before being limped for a pinch-runner, Josh Hinson. Clark laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Hinson into scoring position. Kussmaul singled, chasing Hinson home for the game-winning run.

Riley Koonce (2-3) picked up the win as the closer threw a season-high of three innings, striking out two while allowing one hit.

Neisz extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a single in the first game of the doubleheader. He was held without a hit in the second game, but his hitting streak, dating all the way back to April 26, 2016, is one of the longest in Virginia Wesleyan and ODAC history.

Virginia Wesleyan (16-12/7-5) will host Mary Washington (13-14) on Monday for a non-conference first pitch at 3 p.m.