FERRUM, VA-Hampden-Sydney scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings and two more runs in the 11th to take a late lead, but host Ferrum notched three runs in the bottom of the 11th to take the 8-7 decision on Thursday night. With the loss, Hampden-Sydney falls to 9-9-1 while the Panthers improve to 8-13.
Each team held leads in the game, and it was the Tigers to pounce first with Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA/Menchville) hitting a three run homerun in the first inning to jump out 3-0.
While Aaron Stidham (Roanoke, VA/William Byrd) held the Panters scoreless through four innings, Spencer Wiles (Belmont, SC/South Point) hit an RBI single, and the Tigers took a 4-0 lead as Beau Flinchum (Ashland, VA/Hanover) crossed the plate.
The Tigers' lead, however, lasted until the sixth inning as Ferrum scored five runs to take its first lead of the game - 5-4.
Neither team could score in the next two innings, but the Tigers found offense in the ninth. Ferrum retired the first two batters and was one out away from victory, but back-to-back doubles from Andrew Tucker (Fincastle, VA/James River) and Flinchum gave the Tigers new life and helped send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 11th with two outs, the Tigers again found offensive life. A single from Gray and double by Tucker set up a two-RBI double from Flinchum, giving Hampden-Sydney a 7-5 run.
The Panthers responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs on two hits to take the 8-7 victory.
Senior Dan Nicoll (Centreville, VA/Bishop Ireton) was the Tigers' pitcher of decision, surrendering the final three runs on one hit in 1.2 innings. Stidham threw five innings, allowing five runs on three hits. He struck out one and walked two.
Offensively, Flinchum and Gray each went 3-for-6 with three RBI. Gray also scored two runs while Flinchum crossed the plate once. Tucker was 2-for-5 with two runs and two doubles.
Hampden-Sydney recorded 13 hits to Ferrum's seven, but had four errors while the Panters had two miscues.
Justin Cox led the Panther offense with a 2-for-6 performance, three RBI and one run. Justin Puentes pitched the 10th and 11th innings and picked up the win. He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three.
Hampden-Sydney remains on the road and will face Shenandoah in a Saturday double header on March 16. It will mark the first time the two teams will meet as conference foes. First pitch is set for 12:00 pm.