HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers extended their winning streak to seven and did so in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to beat Christopher Newport 13-12. Nathan Chamberlin (Chesterfield, VA/Virginia Wesleyan) hit the walk off sacrifice fly to cap off a five run ninth inning. Chamberlin and Reggie Johnson (Dunnsville, VA/Essex) combined to go 7-for-10 while having a hand in nine of the Tigers' 13 runs. With the win, the Tigers improve to 9-2 on the season, and the Captains fall to 4-5.
Christopher Newport took the early lead with Justin Weaver leading off the second inning with a solo homerun. The Captains tacked on three more runs in the frame on four total his and one error.
The Tigers responded well in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the deficit in half with two runs. Chamberlin and Johnson started off with a walk and single, respectively. They were both batted in by Andrew Tucker (Fincastle, VA/James River) and Jackson Rogers (Sterling, VA/Potomac Falls).
After scoring runs in the second, Chamberlin and Johnson each batted in one in the third, scoring Christian Hamlett (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) and Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA/Menchville) on back-to-back one out singles. Before the inning ended, Chamberlin scored from third on a passed ball to give the Tigers their first lead at 5-4.
The lead was short lived, however, with Tommy Vitaletti driving in Travis Younger in the top of the fourth to tie the game. Christopher Newport then reclaimed the lead in the fifth with four runs on two hits and an error.
Hampden-Sydney added a run in the bottom of the sixth with Spencer Wiles (Belmont, NC/South Point) scoring on a wild pitch, but Christopher Newport fired right back with a run of its own in the top of the seventh.
Chamberlin and Johnson again got in the scoring action in the bottom of the seventh, as Johnson used an RBI-single to score Chamberlin and make it a 10-7 game. Johnson then closed the gap even more, scoring as Lee Carneal (Charlottesville, VA/Albemarle) reached on a two-out error.
Just as the Captains did in the seventh, they matched the Tigers run count from the previous half inning, scoring two in the eighth behind a two-run homerun from Austin Kilbourne.
The Tigers rallied in the ninth, and Wiles knocked a two-RBI double to score Johnson and Ryan O'Hara (Suffolk, VA/Nansemond River), bringing the Tigers within two at 12-10. A costly error by the Captains allowed Carneal to score from third to bring the Tigers within one.
With the bases loaded, Gray showed patience at the plate, drawing the walk and tying the game at 12-12. Chamberlin then stepped up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to score Hamlett from third and claim the victory.
On the mound, Teddy West (Lanexa, VA/Warhill) started the game, allowing nine runs – seven earned – on nine hits and two walks. He also struck out two in 4.2 innings work. Matt Hinson (Kinston, NC/Arendell Parrott Academy) got the win, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings work.
At the plate, the Tigers tallied 17 hits while Johnson was a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs and two RBI. Wiles was 4-for-6 with three doubles, three RBI and two runs, while Chamberlin went 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBI, and two walks.
Christopher Newport's Mike Thomas started for the Captains, pitching five innings and allowing five runs – four earned – on ten hits and three walks. He also struck out four. Justin Garber took the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks in 1.2 innings work.
Hampden-Sydney remains at home and will return to action Saturday, March 1, as the Tigers host Southern Virginia in a double header starting at 12:00 pm.