HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA - Hampden-Sydney Baseball swept Emory & Henry 6-5 (10 innings) and 7-6 to earn the #2 seed in the upcoming ODAC Tournament.
Hampden-Sydney finishes the regular season 21-15-1 overall with a 13-7 record in the ODAC while EMory & Henry dropped to 9-27 and 3-17 in the ODAC.
Hampden-Sydney put the first run on board in game one with a Beau Flinchum (Ashland, VA / Hanover) RBI single in the bottom of the first to score Christian Hamlett (Midlothian, VA / Cosby). Emory & Henry's Branson Christopher delivered a two-run bomb in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. The Wasps built on their lead in the seventh inning when an Andrew Stockstill grounder to third plated Mark Robertson to go ahead 3-1.
The Tigers tied the game in their half of the eighth when a Nathan Chamberlin (Chesterfield, VA / Virginia Wesleyan College) double sent Flinchum and Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA / Menchville) across home plate. After holding the Wasps scoreless in the top ninth, H-SC had the chance to win the game in the ninth, but the Tigers were not able to capitalize on a Gray lead-off single and ended the inning with three straight outs to send the game to extra innings.
The 10th inning proved to be an entertaining one. Connor Wise lead off with a single and an error placed runners on first and second. Chase Kirk grounded out on a sacrifice hit to advance Wise and Christopher to third and second base respectively. Ben Barnett was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a potential inning-ending double play opportunity. Sam Line followed up by reaching base on a fielder's choice, but Wise was able to score annd runners remained on first and third with two outs. Christopher scored on the next at bat when a passed ball made it to the backstop, but the Tigers limited the damage to only two runs as Robertson struck out swinging.
The Tigers got their half of the 10th off to a great start as Hunter Lewis (Newport News, VA / Menchville) and Gray record back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with no outs. Flinchum delivered on the next plate appearance with a big double to score both Lewis and Gray. Chamberlin flied out to right field to put Flinchum on third with just one out recorded. Andrew Tucker (Fincastle, VA / James River) delivered the game-winning single as Flinchum narrowly avoided the tag at home plate for the come-from-behind win.
In game one, the Wasps put the first run on the scoreboard when Wise drove in Eric Houff. The Wasps tacked three more runs on to their lead to go up 4-0 in the third on three RBI singles.
With the bases loaded in the bottom third, Gray singled to score Chatham Wurdeman (Elkin, NC / Elkin) but Alex Smith (Chesterfield, VA / Matoaca) was out at third to put runners on first and second. Flinchum's RBI single scored Gray to make it a 4-2 game at the end of three innings.
The Tigers trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth following a Tucker sacrifice fly to left field that plated Jack Elliot (Pittsburgh, PA / Upper St. Clair). The Wasps responded in the seventh with two runs to go up 6-3 on RBI singles from Jesspen Lambert and Brogan Hoover.
The Tiger hitting got on track in a big way in their half of the seventh. Patrick Kuhns (Stafford, VA / North Stafford) hit a one-out double and Gray followed it with a double of his own to score Kuhns to make it a 6-4 E&H lead. After the Tigers recorded their second out, Gray made it to third base on a wild pitch and a Chamberlin walk put runners on first and third. The Wasps pitcher made a critical error when he balked, resulting in Chamberlin scoring from third and putting Gray in second base in scoring position. Ryan Carter (Chester, VA / Thomas Dale) made E&H pay twice for the mistake with a double to plate Chamberlin. Elliot then delivered what proved to be the winning hit on a single that scored Carter from second.
Emory & Henry only managed to get one runner on base in the eight on a walk and H-SC posted a 1-2-3 bottom eighth to keep it a 7-6 game. Emory & Henry led off the top of the ninth with a strikeout, but Will Dingus walked in the second at bat of the inning. Hoover struck out in his plate apperance, leaving the Wasps down to their last out with a runner on first. Sam Line walked to put a runner in scoring position on second, but Luke Rabiej (Alexandria, VA / Bishop Ireton) came in to record the save as Caleb Rotton ended the game on a flyout to right field.
Lewis was 3-5 with one run in game one and earned the win in relief in game two. Flinchum went a combined 5-9 with four RBI. Tucker went 3-8 over both game with two RBI. Zach Whitaker (Roanoke, VA / Patrick Henry) allowed six hits and two earned runs in game one while Aaron Stidham (Roanoke, VA / William Byrd) allowed just three hits and one earned run, but Rabiej earned the win.
Hampden-Sydney faces #5 seed Randolph-Macon on Thursday at 2:30 pm in the ODAC Tournament in Lynchburg at City Stadium, the minor league ballpark for the Lynchburg Hillcats, the High-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves farm system.