Big Fourth Inning Lifts Mary Washington over Marlins

Big Fourth Inning Lifts Mary Washington over Marlins

Big Fourth Inning Lifts Mary Washington over Marlins

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team rallied in the ninth but could not overcome a big Mary Washington fourth inning in a 7-6 loss Monday afternoon.

Mary Washington got on the board first with a pair of runs in the first. Brian Burns was hit by a pitch to start the game, moving to second on a single by Thomas Weaver. Stephen Johnston doubled down the left-field line to score Burns. Ramsis Ruiz singled through the hole in the left side to plate Weaver with the second run.

The Marlins responded in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead in half. Brandon Kussmaul doubled to left-center to start the inning, scoring on a Justin Erby single to center.

The Marlins drove in three runs in the third to take the lead. Kussmaul led off the inning with a walk before Corey King reached on an error. A double from Justin Erby scored Kussmaul to tie the game at two. Back-to-back sacrifice flies from Randy Neisz and Deon Hammond gave the Marlins the 4-2 lead.

The Eagles capitalized on a huge fourth inning to take the lead for good. Mary Washington, after putting the first two runners on, capitalized on a wild pitch to race across its third run. A single by Weaver loaded the bases from Christian Hague. The Eagle first baseman launched a ball deep over the wall in dead center field for a grand slam, making the score 7-4.

Both bullpens kept the game scoreless until the ninth inning. Alex Shapiro (1-0) picked up the win after allowing just one hit while walking three and striking out four in four innings. Luke Chiasson went 3.2 innings for the Marlins in relief, allowing just two hits while striking out three.

Johnston registered the first two outs in the ninth inning in quick fashion, but King singled to second to keep the Marlins' hopes alive. Justin Erby walked to move King to second where he scored on a Neisz single to right, making the score 7-5. Hammond chased Erby home on a single up the middle to cut the margin to just one run. Johnston forced a groundout to third to end the contest.

Virginia Wesleyan (16-13/7-5) will travel to No. 15/16 Randolph Macon College (20-7/9-3) on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. for an ODAC contest.