FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The NC Wesleyan College baseball team split their conference doubleheader with rival Methodist University on Saturday as each thrilling game was decided by one run and a play at home plate to end it. Wesleyan's rally fell short 13-12 in game one while the Bishops held on to win 8-7 in game two by throwing out the runner at home to win it.
NCWC improves to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in the conference with the split while Methodist goes to 21-6 and 11-4.
MU 13, NCWC 12
The two teams combined for 32 hits and 25 runs in the high-scoring game one with Wesleyan scoring 5 runs in the 9th inning to get within one run before getting tagged out at home.
Seniors Trey Croom and Nate Gardner gave the Bishops a quick 2-0 lead by driving in runs in the first. MU would then add 6 runs of their own over the next 3 innings off Gardner, the Bishop starter. However, Wesleyan would rally by taking advantage of Methodist errors to by scoring three runs in the fourth to trim down their deficit to just one at 6-5. A Brad Pennington double got the Bishops to within three at 9-6 in the 6th inning before MU grew their lead to six after 7 innings.
The ninth inning then featured an RBI single from junior RF Luke Mills, an RBI double from senior LF Logan Andrews, an RBI walk from junior SS Alec Titmus and a 2-RBI single from senior CF Cedrick Kornegay that brought the Bishops to within one at 13-12. Then with one out, Croom sent a fly ball to center and Titmus attempted to score from third with the tying run, but was tagged out at home to end it.
Wesleyan totaled 14 hits led by a 3-hit day from Gardner and two-hit days from Kornegay and freshman 1B Jackson Murray as 10 Bishops would record at least one hit on the day. Pennington, Gardner, and Andrews all hit doubles as well.
Gardner (0-1) picked up the loss on the mound throwing 2 innings allowing 7 hits and 6 runs on 3 walks and a strikeout while soph reliever Kevin Williams tossed five frames allowing 10 hits and 6 runs (3 earned) on 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
NCWC 8, MU 7
Wesleyan got down 3-0 early to MU but came back to score 4 runs in the 4th inning to take the 4-3 lead. The Bishops got a sac fly from Andrews, a two-run single from Luke Mills and a RBI single from catcher Nick Beaver.
Wesleyan then put up another 4-spot in the 6th inning as junior 2B Brad Pennington started it off with an RBI single before a big two-run single from Kornegay and another RBI single from Trey Croom gave Wesleyan an 8-4 lead. MU would rally for three runs over the 8th and 9th innings but a throw from Andrews in left to Beaver at home to tag out the runner won it for the Bishops.
Croom and Pennington led with two-hit games while Croom had the lone extra-base hit of game two, a double.
Sophomore Starter Drew Tubb got the win improving to 4-0 as he tossed 5 innings allowing 6 hits and 4 runs with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Reliever J.D. Makauskas then came on and allowed 3 hits and 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 walks and 2 strikeouts over 2 and 2/3 innings before closer Noah Shrock came on to get the save as he finished the game. Shrock got the final four outs allowing 3 hits and one run with 2 Ks.
NC Wesleyan returns to action on Tuesday to host Virginia Wesleyan at 3 PM.