HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Railsplitters pounded out 16 hits and combined to score 11 runs over the first four innings en route to a decisive 12-5 win over the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia-Wise in thei home opener on Tuesday. Lincoln Memorial University (2-6) snapped a three-game losing skid while the Cavaliers dropped to 3-4 on the season.
Lincoln Memorial surrendered a run in the top of the first inning but responded by posting a four-spot in the bottom half of the frame. The Railsplitters then recorded a two-run, one-run and another four-run outburst in consecutive stanzas to take command of the game.
The Railsplitters used seven different pitchers in the game with Patrick Morris (1-0) earning the win after tossing three innings in his first start of the season. Morris allowed only three hits and one run to get the victory. Dylan Reid, Hunter Hill, Wes Todd, Nick Morabito, Josh Coker and Dillon Swaggerty combined to pitch the final six innings, as those six surrendered seven hits and four runs.
The Cavaliers also used seven pitchers in the contest, as Danny Bates (0-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing seven hits and six runs over two innings pitched in the start.
Wise scored first as Tommy Meier led off the game with a single, advanced to third on consecutive ground outs, and then scored on Michael McCollum’s two-out single.
The Railsplitters countered with a four-run outburst in the bottom half of the first, sparked by Nick Pressley’s one-out single. Curt Fuqua followed with a double down the right-field line. Andre Rodriguez tallied a sacrifice ground out to plate Pressley and Colin Buckner followed a walk by Josh Coker with a three-run blast to catapult the Railsplitters to a 4-1 lead.
LMU extended their lead to 6-1 with a two-run rally in the bottom of the second. Jacob West and Cody Baker both singled to start the frame, and both came around to score on a Rodriguez base hit. The ‘Splitters added another run in the bottom of the third when Morabito led off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a ground out by Nolan Woody.
The Cavaliers got two runs back in the top of the fourth with an RBI single by Tye Marshall and a sacrifice fly out by Meier.
LMU answered with four more runs in their half of the inning to stretch the lead to 11-3. Baker notched the big hit in that frame with a bases clearing double to left center.
Lincoln Memorial would tally their final run of the contest on Fuqua’s RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth. UVa-Wise used three hits to record two runs in the top of the ninth, however, they were unable to do any further damage, as Swaggerty induced two-consecutive ground outs to end the game with the Railsplitters taking a 12-5 victory.
The Railsplitters’ 16-hit performance was headlined by Baker’s three-for-five effort, which included two runs and three RBIs. Pressley notched a pair of hits in four at-bats, while Fuqua, Coker and Buckner joined Pressley with two hits apiece in the game. Buckner added three RBIs to his stat ledger. Rodriguez capped a one-for-four outing with three RBIs.
Tyler Hutson spearheaded the Cavaliers’ 10-hit game with a two-for-five effort at the dish. Hutson was, however, the lone Cavalier to notch more than a single hit in the game.
Lincoln Memorial will now turn their attention towards South Atlantic Conference play, which is set to begin this weekend. The Railsplitters are slated to travel to Anderson, S.C., for a three-game set against the Trojans. Game one, scheduled for nine innings, is slotted for a 6 p.m. start on Friday.
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UVa-Wise… 100 200 002 — 5 10 0
LMU……….. 421 401 00x — 12 16 1
Danny Bates, Cody Jewell(3), Josh Blackburn(4), Jacob Huff(5), Jared Finch(6), Steven Klaiber(7), R.W. Payne(8) and Tommy Meier, Bryan Andrews; Patrick Morris, Dylan Reid(4), Hunter Hill(5), Wes Todd(6), Nick Morabito(7), Josh Coker(8), Dillon Swaggerty(9) and Nolan Woody, Nick Pressley. W-Morris(1-0). L-Bates(0-1). HR- LMU: Colin Buckner (1).