BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan baseball team dropped a heartbreaker to Salem at Hank Ellis Field Tuesday by a 9-8 score. The Bobcats were able to gather nine hits but had three costly errors. The Tigers also had problems on the defensive side, racking up four errors. Wesleyan followed that up with a 16-4 road loss at Nutter Fort Park on Wednesday to Salem. Both teams had 12 hits as Wesleyan walked six and hit six batters in the loss.
In Tuesday’s game, Anthony Hernandez was in an early jam, loading the bases with two outs in the top of the first. He was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout, leaving all three runners stranded. An error from the shortstop and double down the left field line set the stage for Devin Johnson. He capitalized, hitting a sacrifice fly to right to score the first run of the game. Thatcher Poteat followed by dribbling one to the pitcher that was able to plate another run, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead after an inning of play.
A pair of walks and errors loaded the bases forJohnson who drove two runs in with a hard-hit single down the left field line. Poteat hit a deep single to center to make it 5-0. The bats stayed hot through the lineup as Matthew Neach was able to land a blooper over the third baseman’s head for a two-run single. The Tigers were finally able to close the Bobcats out after surrendering five runs in the bottom of the third with WVWC leading 7-0.
Salem loaded the bases once again in the top of the fifth with two outs, scoring consecutive runs on a walk and ripping a bases clearing double down the left field line to cut it two. On the next play, the Tigers scored again on a one-run single through the left side of the infield. An errant throw to second that bounced off the runner into the outfield tied the game at seven with the Bobcats getting out of the inning with a strikeout.
Luke Burner led the bottom of the sixth with a single and got all the way to third on a wild pitch but was left stranded on a flyout to center. The Tigers had a one out double that proved to be key as a wild pitch and weak dribbler to short gave Salem their first lead of the game at 8-7. In the bottom of the seventh, Johnson led the inning off with a double over the right fielder’s head. With two outs, Matthew Neach was able to get a softly hit ball to drop in center to tie the game up again. The Tigers did the unprobeable in the top of the eighth, stealing home to regain the lead.
Wesleyan led the bottom of the eighth with a hit by Alex Rodriguez and a walk by Sam Ingram. Three consecutive outs ended the inning. The Bobcats went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth as Salem took the 9-8 win.
Tyler Shinn led the Salem offense with four runs knocked in while three other Tigers picked up a RBI. Four different pitchers took the mound for Salem as Travis Lavendier picked up the win, going 2 1/3 innings and only giving up one hit and striking out two. Tyler Sammons started the game but was ran off after 2+ innings, surrendering seven runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.
Johnson and Neach both knocked in three runs with Johnson going 3-4 at the plate. Hernandez started the game, going four innings and only giving up one hit and walking two. Johnny Kirkpatrick took the loss after 1 2/3 innings of work, giving up one run (unearned) with two strikeouts.
In Wednesday’s game, Salem was able to plate runs on a two-run double, stealing home twice and a one-run single to lead 5-0 after one inning of play. The Tigers, in the bottom of the 3rd, scored three times with back-to-back doubles to make it 8-0.
With Cole Shearer singling and Ian Donohoe walking to begin the top of the fourth, Eddie Rueda ripped a one-run single to get the Bobcats on the board. Salem added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth starting the inning with singles and loading the bases with a walk. Consecutive hit by pitches brought two runs in for the Tigers, extending their lead to nine. In the bottom of the seventh, SU made it 14-1 on a two-run ground-rule double, a dribbler in the infield that brought home one and a passed ball that brought in the last run of the inning.
The Bobcats got back on the board in the top of the eighth, putting together two out offense. Poteat, Luke Burner and Logan Roop all singled and Chris Hulmes was able to cross the plate. Burner then was able to score and Alex Rodriguez earned a RBI on a walk. A double in the bottom of the eighth plated two more runs for Salem and the Tigers took care of business in the top of the ninth to secure the 16-4 win.
Five different Tigers had at least two RBIs and three had at least two hits. Frankie Gulko was the winning pitcher, going four innings and giving up one run (earned) on seven hits and two walks. He also struck out six.
Rodriguez and Rueda both picked up a RBI each and three different Bobcats had two or more hits. Hernandez was handed the loss after four innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks.
Up Next For The Bobcats
Wesleyan will host Concord this Saturday and Sunday for a four-game series with games starting at 1 & 3:30 p.m. on both days