Pennington's Homer Helps Bishops take Opening Day DH from EMU

Brad Pennington
Brad Pennington

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.- Leadoff second baseman Brad Pennington helped lead the NC Wesleyan College baseball team to an opening day doubleheader sweep of the Eastern Mennonite University Royals (Va.) with his solo home run in game 1 and his 2 for 2 day in game two. NC Wesleyan won 5-1 in game 1 and 4-3 in game two. However, EMU came back to get the Bishops 11-8 in game 3 on Sunday.

NC Wesleyan 5, EMU 1

Wesleyan used 8 hits, a big 4-run 5th inning, and quality pitching to oust EMU in game one on Saturday. Senior CF Cedrick Kornegay led the offense with his 2 hits along with Pennington's home run and junior 3B Trey Posilero's RBI single. Kornegay and junior RF Moses Vigo also recorded triples for the Bishops while senior 1B Trey Croom knocked a double as well.

Pitching-wise, sophomore reliever Kevin Williams got the win in relief of senior starter Nate Gardner by throwing 4 and 1/3 innings of shutdown relief allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks with 2 strikeouts. Gardner also struck out three over 2 and 1/3 innings.

NC Wesleyan 4, EMU 3

The Bishops then rallied for a game two win by scoring 2 runs in the 5th to take it 4-3. Wesleyan got their runs via a Croom RBI single, a Vigo sac fly, a Nick Beaver RBI walk, and a run from Pennington scoring on an EMU error in the third. 

Wesleyan only managed 4 hits in the game, two from Pennington, one from Croom and a double from Kornegay, but it wasn't needed as much with the pitching shutting down the Royals.

On the mound, senior pitcher Brynner Porter got the win as he tossed a scoreless inning of relief of senior starter J.D. Makauskas while junior closer Noah Shrock got the save as he threw two scoreless frames with 3 Ks.

Wesleyan was back on the field Sunday at 1 PM for the final game of the series.

EMU 11, NCWC 8

In the final game of the series on Sunday, the only 9 inning matchup, EMU knocked out 15 hits off Bishop pitching. They rallied back from a 7-5 Wesleyan lead after 6 innings to score 6 total runs themselves over the final 3 frames to oust the Bishops. 

Junior reliever Luke Mills (0-1) suffered the loss throwing 4 innings allowing 8 hits and 6 runs on a walk and 2 strikeouts while sophomore starter Drew Tubb allowed 5 hits and 4 runs over 3 innings striking out 3 but also walking three. Junior reliever Michael Smith also threw 2 frames of one-run ball as well.

Offensively, the Bishops were led by triples from freshman shortstop Andrew Nichols and senior LF Logan Andrews and doubles from Pennington and Vigo. Kornegay also had a nice day going 3 for 4 with an RBI while Vigo led the team with 3 RBIs. Senior catcher Brandon Wheat also drove in two runs while Nichols and Croom recorded RBIs as well. Pennington was the other Bishop to have a multi-hit game as he went 2 for 3, but reached base 4 times as he also walked twice.

Wesleyan falls to 2-1 after the weekend with EMU going to 1-2. The Bishops are not in action again until going on the road to battle the NAIA St. Andrews Knights on Feb. 20 at 2 PM in Laurinburg, NC.