HARROGATE, Tenn. — Junior slugger Josh Coker pounded a walkoff single in the bottom of the 13th to give the Railsplitters a 7-6 victory over the Bulldogs in game one, but Wingate responded with 6-2 and 9-2 wins to take two out of three in a South Atlantic Conference baseball series over the weekend.
Lincoln Memorial University (8-13, 6-6 SAC) drops their second-consecutive conference series, while Wingate improves to 14-11 overall, and 8-4 in SAC play.
Lincoln Memorial 7, Wingate 6 (13 innings)
The Railsplitters held a 5-4 advantage through five innings before the Bulldogs squared the contest with a run in the top of the sixth to cap the scoring in regulation and send the game into extra innings. In extras, Coker lifted LMU with four innings of work on the mound and a walkoff hit in the bottom of the 13th to secure a 7-6 triumph in the opener.
Despite coming up with a no decision, Lincoln Memorial started Brandon Cowan was magnificent toeing the rubber for the Railsplitters, as he compiled nine strikeouts in nine innings of work while allowing five earned runs on seven hits. Coker came on in relief in the top of the tenth and went the rest of the way for Lincoln Memorial, surrendering only two hits and one run over that span en route to picking up his first victory of the season.
The Bulldogs needed five pitchers to complete the 13-inning marathon before Brett Morgan was saddled with the loss, as he allowed the game-winning hit to Coker in the bottom of the 13th frame.
The Railsplitters got on the board first with a run in the bottom half of the first, using an error by the Bulldog catcher to plate Nick Pressley, who reached on a one-out single. The Bulldogs countered that run with a two-run double off the bat of Blake Prince in the top of the second to assume a 2-1 advantage.
After a pair of scoreless innings, the fifth inning saw an offensive outburst from both clubs, beginning with the Bulldogs who put two runs on the board in the top half of that frame. Michael Godinez led off with a solo blast and Thomas Spitz added another run by scoring on a wild pitch to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-1. However, the Railsplitters answered by doubling Wingate’s output with four runs in the home half of the fifth. Pressley notched the big hit of that inning with a three-run double into the right center field gap to put the ‘Splitters up 5-4.
That lead was short-lived as Brad Cherry popped a home run to lead off the top half of the sixth tie things at five. That would be all the scoring in regulation, as the game went into extras all square at five apiece.
The Bulldogs put a run on the board in the top of the 11th, using a sacrifice bunt by Michael Godinez to plate Brad Cherry, who had reached on an error. Facing a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the 11th, Cody Baker staved off defeat for the Railsplitters with a lead off home run to tie the game at six. In the bottom of the 13th, the Railsplitters loaded the bases with a single by Pressley and two-straight hit batsmen, paving the way for Coker, who popped an RBI single into left field to give LMU the 7-6 win.
The Railsplitters pounded 13 hits in the contest, spearheaded by Pressley’s four-for-seven performance at the dish which included three RBI and two runs. Scott Miller added three hits and a run, while Brandon Morris tallied two hits, an RBI and a run.
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Wingate… 020 021 000 010 0 — 6 9 2
LMU……… 100 040 000 010 1 — 7 13 2
Ben Currie, Kyle Brady(6), Blake Parsley(8), Joshua Karr(10), Brett Morgan(13) and Josh Clark; Brandon Cowan, Josh Coker(10) and Nick Pressley. W-Coker(1-0). L-Morgan(0-1). HR — WU: Brad Cherry (3), Michael Godinez (1); LMU: Cody Baker (1).
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Wingate 6, Lincoln Memorial 2
The Bulldogs broke open a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the fifth and four runs in the top of the sixth to salvage the second game of Saturday’s double-header.
The Railsplitters held early sway following a run in the bottom half of the third, as Nick Pressley notched an RBI ground out to plate Cody Baker, who had reached on an error. Brian Yeung countered for the Bulldogs with a run-scoring double in the top of the fourth but LMU answered that run in the bottom of the inning, using a sacrifice fly by Nick Morabito to regain the lead at 2-1.
The Bulldogs put up five runs over the next two innings to effectively take command of the game. Josh Clark tied the game in the top of the fifth with a lead off home run, while Grant McCoury paced a four-run outburst for Wingate in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer. The Railsplitters were limited to only two hits over the final three innings without a run to fall short in the finale, 6-2.
Logan Sawyer (1-3) was dealt the loss on the mound for Lincoln Memorial, as he surrendered nine hits, six runs and struck out three in five innings of work. T.J .Rinoski was strong on the mound for the Bulldogs, tossing a complete game in which he allowed only three hits and one earned run over to move to 2-0 on the season.
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Wingate…. 000 114 0 — 6 12 1
LMU……… 001 100 0 — 2 3 1
T.J. Rinoski and Josh Clark; Logan Sawyer, Ian Creager(6) and Nick Pressley. W-Rinoski(2-0). L-Sawyer(1-3). HR — WU: Grant McCoury (2); Josh Clark (4).
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Wingate 9, Lincoln Memorial 2
Behind Olen Little’s stellar effort on the mound and a trio of three-run innings, the Bulldogs took a 9-2 decision over the Railsplitters in the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon.
Little held LMU to only five hits and no earned runs over his seven innings of work to move to 5-1 on the season. Lincoln Memorial scored their only two runs of the ballgame off of reliever Grant McCoury, tagging the right-hander for four hits and two runs in the final two innings.
Patrick Morris (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing 10 hits and six runs in 5.2 innings of work. Morris struck out four batters in the first two innings but surrendered a pair of three-run innings in his start en route to the loss.
Wingate broke open a scoreless contest in the top half of third, as Blake Prince and Eric Serra pounded solo home runs and Brian Yeung plated another run with an RBI double to propel the Bulldogs out to a 3-0 advantage. After going down quietly in the fourth and fifth innings, the Bulldogs notched three more runs in the visitor’s half of the sixth, using RBI doubles by Brad Cherry and Blake Prince as well as an RBI single by Michael Godinez to assume a 6-0 advantage.
WU effectively put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with another three-run outburst, fueled by an RBI double by Grant McCoury and a two-run blast off the bat of Josh Clark.
The Railsplitters rallied for two runs on three hits in the 8th on an RBI double by Jacob West and a sacrifice fly out by Scott Miller. However, that would be all the offense the Railsplitters mustered, as they were dropped 9-2 in the series clincher.
Lincoln Memorial tallied nine hits in the game with Pressley and Nick Morabito leading the way with a pair of multi-hit performances. The Bulldogs posted 16 hits, spearheaded by three hits apiece from Eric Serra and Brian Yeung.
The Railsplitters are set to return to the field on Tuesday as they welcome Philadelphia University to Lamar Hennon Field for a two-game nonconference duel. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
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Wingate… 003 003 300 — 9 16 0
LMU…….. 000 000 020 — 2 9 0
Olen Little, Grant McCoury(8) and Josh Clark, Jason Hunter; Patrick Morris, Seth Woods(6), Austin Pittman(8), Nick Morabito(9) and Nick Pressley. W-Little(5-1). L-Morris(3-1). HR — WU: Eric Serra (4), Josh Clark (5), Blake Prince (2).