Baseball Picks up First Win in Doubleheader Split with Chowan
Murfreesboro, NC. – The Wheeling University Baseball team (1-4, 0-0) continued their stretch of spring trips when they headed to North Carolina for a three-game set with Chowan. They opened the weekend with their first win of the season as they split their Saturday doubleheader, losing game one 13-0 and coming back to win game two 10-9 in eight innings.
Game One: Chowan 13, Wheeling 3
Right-hander Jake Rife got the start and pitched well through the first two innings of the game. He threw a 1-2-3 first inning and followed that up by allowing two runs in the second. He finished his afternoon allowing those two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out two. Jake Wessler came in for the third inning and allowed two runs of his own on three hits and Chowan was up 4-0. The Hawks would add nine runs over the next two innings, and a 4-0 game went to a 13-0 game as Wheeling was looking to move on to game two. The Cardinals had three hits through the first six innings as they had trouble finding their way on base.
Dan Matos would come in relief in the sixth inning and closed things out with a scoreless frame. He allowed just one hit and faced four batters by stranding a runner on base. Matos's performance would spark the Wheeling offense as they made one final push in the seventh inning. After a strikeout and a flyout started the inning, J.R. Heavilin worked a two-out walk and a Jacob Murray single had Wheeling in business. Blake Vandiver would drive in the first run of the game with an RBI double and Lucas Rawlins would drive in both runners with an RBI double that made it 13-3. Unfortunately, that would be the final run of the game as Wheeling dropped game one.
Jacob Murray had the only multi-hit performance in game one, going 2-3, while Lucas Rawlins added a 1-3 day with two RBI. Blake Vandiver went 1-3 with an RBI and Anthony Mat grabbed the other Wheeking hit in the loss.
Game Two: Wheeling 10, Chowan 9
After being shut out in the first game of the afternoon, the Cardinal's offense came to play in game two scoring 10 runs in seven innings. However, early on it was Chowan that took the lead scoring two runs in the bottom of the second with an RBI single and an RBI double that had them ahead 2-0. However, Wheeling's offense would put it together in the third inning for their first runs of the game. After a flyout started the inning, Riley Cameron walked and Anthony May doubled to put runners at second and third. J.R. Heavilin doubled to score two runs and was brought home by a Jacob Murray RBI single to give the Cardinals their first led of the day 3-2. However, the Hawks scored two more runs in the bottom of the third and it was back to the drawing board for the Cardinals as they trailed 4-3.
In the fourth, Wheeling would get a flyout to start the inning before May reached on an error. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, but a walk and a flyout would leave a runner at first and second with two away. A walk by Heavilin would load the bases before Murray took advantage of a Chowan error to tie the game at 4-4. Blake Vandiver would follow with a painful RBI on a hit by pitch, and Lucas Rawlins followed with an RBI hit by pitch of his own to make the score 6-4 in favor of Wheeling. Chris Iazzetta added a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and Wheeling built their biggest lead of the season at 7-4. Chowan scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 7-5, but the Cardinal's offense would power up to add on to their lead.
Wheeling would start the top of the sixth with a strikeout, but Jacob Murray got his club back on the board with his first home run of the season to make it 8-5. Rawlins and Garth Charlton would draw back-to-back walks and a Pete Toula sacrifice fly brought the score to 9-5. Chowan was not ready to lay down in the bottom of the sixth and put pressure on the Cardinals scoring three runs to make it a 9-8 game. The Cardinals were looking for an insurance run and manufactured one in the top of the seventh. Iazzetta reached on an error with one out in the inning and stole second to give the Cardinals a runner in scoring position. Iazzetta would go on to steal third and came home to score on a throwing error that made it 10-8 Wheeling. That run would prove to be the difference as Chowan scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as Wheeling held on to win 10-9.
Four Cardinals had multi-hit games in game two led by Heavilin's 2-3 effort with a double and an RBI. Cameron finished 2-2 with three walks, May was 2-5 with an RBI, and Iazzetta went 2-4 with an RBI. Logan Pillars made his second start of the season, throwing four innings while allowing four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three. Hayden Scudder and Kyle Dalton threw the game's final three innings and allowed five runs on eight hits combined.
The Wheeling University Baseball team wraps up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 11 am.