HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA – Hampden-Sydney Baseball Head Coach Jeff Kinne won his 200th career game, only the second coach in H-SC history with 200 wins, with a 4-2 win over Guilford in the first game of a double header. Guilford won the rematch 6-5.
The Tigers are now 13-13-1 overall and 6-5 in the ODAC while Guilford is 13-14 and 5-8 in the ODAC.
Hampden-Sydney drew first blood in the first inning of game one. With one runner on first base and two outs already recorded, Andrew Tucker (Fincastle, VA / James River) singled to put Hunter Lewis (Newport News, VA / Menchville) in scoring position on second base. Beau Flinchum (Ashland, VA / Hanover) then delivered the big hit with a deep double to plate both Tucker and Lewis as the Tigers went ahead 2-0 at the end of one.
The Tiger bats delivered again in the bottom of the second. Following a first at-bat out, Patrick Kuhns (Stafford, VA / North Stafford) walked and reached second following a John Lloyd (Glen Allen, VA / Deep Run) single. Christian Hamlett (Midlothian, VA / Cosby) followed up with an RBI single to score Kuhns.
The Quakers mounted a comeback in the top of the third. Danny Ditota started it with a lead-off single and Jordan Slate narrowly squeezed in a double down the left field line to send Ditota home. Herc Ingels sacrifice bunted Slate to third. John Macon Smith lined out to third base to provide the second out, but Kent Peterson singled to right field as Slate walked in to score. Peterson then ended the inning when he was thrown out by James Keller (Fredericksburg, VA / VMI) while trying to steal second base.
Neither team was able to score again until the eighth inning as Guilford left six on base between innings 4-8, but Hampden-Sydney was able to get an insurance run in the bottom fourth. After a first at-bat out, Flinchum singled. With two outs recorded, Nathan Chamberlain (Chesterfield, VA / Virginia Wesleyan) came in for a pinch hit appearance and Flinchum advanced to second on a wild pitch. The wild pitch proved to be costly as Chamberlain doubled, enabling Flinchum to score. Hampden-Sydney then secured the win by forcing Guilford into a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
Flinchum and Lloyd each had two hits in the game while Flinchum had two RBI. Zach Whitaker (Roanoke, VA / Patrick Henry) earned the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings. Luke Rabiej (Alexandria, VA / Bishop Ireton) earned the save, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless relief while surrendering just one hit.
Slate led Guilford with three hits and Borja Jones-Berasaluce pitched all eight innings with six strikeouts and 11 hits.
Guilford took control of the second game in the early going and did all the damage with two outs on the scoreboard. Slate struck out swinging to lead off the game, Herc Ingles singled next, but John Macon Smith struck out looking in the next at bat. Peterson and Corey Wallace then posted back-to-back singles to load the bases. Nathan Fulbright singled home Peterson and Ingles and put Wallace on third. DJ Phillips then grounded into third base, but a throwing error by Lewis allowed Phillips to safely reach base and plate Wallace for the third run of the inning.
The Tigers started off the bottom of the first on a high note with a Hamlett double followed with a Lewis RBI single to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Tigers were unable to further capitalize with three outs in the next four at bats.
Teddy West (Lanexa, VA / Warhill) quieted the Quaker batters over the next three innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three. The Tigers shaved another run off the deficit in the bottom of the third when a Flinchum sac fly scored Lewis.
However, Guilford was able to get off to a good start in the fifth with a lead-off double from Smith. Peterson moved Smith to third on a single, and a Wallace sac fly to right field plated Smith to put Guilford ahead 4-2.
Hampden-Sydney took control of the game in the sixth when starting pitcher Will James was replaced by Justin Morrison. Jack Elliott (Pittsburgh, PA / Upper St. Clair) flied out to centerfield to start the inning, but Kuhns drew a hit by pitch and a Lloyd double gave the Tigers runners on second and third. Hamlett reached first on an error by the third basemen in the next at bat, putting Lloyd on third and scoring Kuhns. Lewis reached on a fielder's choice, but an error by the second baseman allowed Hamlett to reach base safely and gave the Tigers another run with Lloyd scoring. A Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA / Menchville) fielder's choice in the following at bat left the Tigers with two outs and with Hamlett on third and Gray on first. Tucker the go-ahead RBI single to plate Hamlett.
The Tigers would retain the lead all the way into the ninth inning but did more crushing two-out damage. Rabiej was put in to close out the game and looked to be well on his way to securing another save with two outs to start the inning. But then Peterson singled, Wallace singled to put runners on first and second, and then Fulbright recorded the game-tying RBI single to send Peterson from second to home and put Wallace on third base. Phillips secured the game-winning hit on a single down the right field line to score Wallace from third.
The Tigers were able to get one batter on base in the bottom of the ninth on a single but ended with the game a grounder resulting in a double play for the final two outs.
Lewis, Gray, and Tucker each had two hits while Lewis had two RBI. West pitched five innings en route to striking out six Quakers, and Billy Nixon (Sedley, VA / Southampton) allowed just one hit and one walk in three innings of scoreless relief.
Peterson and Wallace had three hits to lead Guilford. Fulbright had two hits and three RBI, DJ Phillips had two RBI, and Gabe Mirabelli and Ingels each had two hits. Will James was on the mound for five innings, allowing two earned runs. Justin Morrison earned the win while Tyler Tuttle got the save.
Hampden-Sydney travels to Lynchburg, VA, on Tuesday to play Lynchburg College at 3 pm.