ASHLAND, VA-The Hampden-Sydney baseball team erased a 5-1 deficit in the first inning to win 11-8 in its first game against arch-rival Randolph-Macon. The Yellow Jackets returned the favor in the second game, scoring the final three runs of the game to win 8-7. The Tigers now stand at 11-22 overall and 6-8 in the ODAC; Randolph-Macon is now 16-16-1 overall and 9-7 in the conference.
Freshman Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA/Menchville) put the Tigers on the board first with his first career homerun, but Randolph-Macon fired back with five runs in the bottom of the frame to take a four run lead.
The Tigers, however, slowly chipped away as Jordan Wind (Tappahannock, VA/Essex) batted in Christian Hamlett (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) in the third, and Zeb Cope (Advance, NC/Davie County) homered in the fifth.
The Yellow Jackets came back with a homerun of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but Andrew Tucker (Fincastle, VA/James River) and Cope each batted in a run to bring the Tigers within one at 6-5.
Hamlett then scored the game-tying run in the seventh with Patrick Kuhns (Stafford, VA/North Stafford) batting him in.
Heading into the ninth tied at 6-6, Hampden-Sydney used a big inning to take its first lead since the top of the first. With two outs, Gray hit a two-RBI single to put the Tigers up 8-6, and then Beau Flinchum (Ashland, VA/Hanover) hit a three-run homer to give the Tigers a five run cushion.
Randolph-Macon scored two in the bottom of the ninth, but Zach Whitaker (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry) picked up the save.
Luke Rabiej (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) picked up the win after allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Six Tigers recorded two hits in the game, and Flinchum led the way with three RBI.
In the second game, the Tigers again took the first lead with Kuhns batting in Hamlett.
Randolph-Macon used two runs in both the third and fourth to take a 4-1 lead, but an RBI-triple from Wind and a two-run homerun from Gray knotted the game at 4-4 midway through the fifth.
Though the Jackets reclaimed the lead with a run of their own, Hampden-Sydney took it right back with runs in the sixth and seventh.
Flinchum then put the Tigers up 7-5 in the seventh with his second homerun of the day.
Randolph-Macon responded, however, scoring three runs in the seventh to take its final 8-7 lead.
Garrett Birnbaum (Moseley, VA/Cosby) was the Tigers' pitcher of decision after allowing the final run on one hit in 1.1 innings pitched.
Four Tigers recorded two hits in the game, and Hamlett scored a team-high two runs. On the day, Hamlett was 4-for-8 with four runs; Gray was 3-for-9 with five RBI, three runs, and two homeruns; and Flinchum was 4-for-10 with three RBI, three runs, and two homeruns.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action Tuesday, April 17, as it hosts the Monarchs of Methodist University. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30.