HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Railsplitters split a two-game, non-conference baseball doubleheader with the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia at Wise on Wednesday at Lamar Hennon Field. Lincoln Memorial University (13-15, 8-7 SAC) held on for an 8-7 win in the opener, but they could not muster enough offense in game two, as UVa-Wise (6-13) earned the split with a 10-5 win.
Lincoln Memorial is set to return to South Atlantic Conference play over the weekend with a three-game series at Brevard College. The Railsplitters and Tornados are scheduled for a nine-inning showdown on Friday at 3 p.m. before closing the series with a doubleheader on Saturday.
LMU 8, UVa-Wise 7
The Railsplitters found themselves in a 5-1 hole, as the Cavaliers rallied for two runs in the visitor’s half of the first behind RBI-singles by Tyler Hutson and Brett Hylton, and three runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run double by Tye Marshall and an RBI-single by Tyler Lighton.
In their first three plate appearances, the Railsplitters scattered four hits but came up with only one run, as Cody Baker scored on a miscue by the Cavaliers’ catcher in the bottom of the first.
Lincoln Memorial broke out offensively in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Morabito was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Nolan Woody followed with a single, setting the stage for Josh Coker, who sent his third home run of the season over the left-center field wall to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Reliever Ian Creager allowed a lead off hit to start the top of the fifth, however, he set the next three batters down in order to keep the score at 5-4. In the bottom of the fifth, the Railsplitters tallied four runs to storm into the lead. The first four batters of the inning reached safely for Lincoln Memorial, and Coker continued his tear at the plate with a two-run double to put LMU on top. Prior to that double, Nolan Woody notched a game-tying RBI-single and Baker added an insurance run in the latter portion of the frame with an RBI-single.
After both sides went down in one-two-three order in the sixth, UVa-Wise rallied for two runs in the seventh and threatened to tie the game. Tommy Meier popped an RBI-single and Tyler Hutson recorded a sacrifice fly out to make it a one-run game, but the Cavaliers left the potential tying-run stranded at first with a game-ending fly out off the bat of Brett Hylton.
The Railsplitters out-hit the Cavaliers 10-8 in the contest with Josh Coker leading the way. The junior slugger posted a three-for-three outing with five RBI and two runs. Cody Baker, Nick Morabito and Nolan Woody got in on the act with two hits apiece.
Ian Creager moved to 3-2 on the season for the Railsplitters, as he picked up the win after tossing two nearly perfect innings in relief. The junior allowed only one hit and struck out one.
Nick Impellizzeri led UVa-Wise with a two-for-three showing at the plate. Ryan Ward dropped to 0-2 on the year after allowing four hits and four runs in two innings of work in relief for the Cavaliers.
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UVa-Wise…. 200 300 2 — 7 8 1
LMU……….. 100 340 x — 8 10 1
Ben Coffman, Ryan Ward(4), Travis Weaver(6) and Tommy Meier; Wes Todd, Ian Creager(5), Josh Coker(7) and Nolan Woody, Nick Pressley. W — Creager (3-2). L — Ward (0-2). Sv — Coker(1). HR — LMU: Coker (3).
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UVa-Wise 10, LMU 5
After an uneventful opening frame from both sides, the Cavaliers struck first with two runs in the top of the second behind a Nick Impellizzeri double and an error by the Railsplitters.
Lincoln Memorial rallied with a run in the bottom half of that frame on an RBI-single by Josh Coker. But a three-run homer off the bat of Brett Hylton put the Cavs up 5-1 in the third.
Scott Miller doubled for the Railsplitters in their half of the third and late scored on an RBI ground out by Nick Pressley. But 5-2 would be as close as LMU would get as Wise reeled off five straight runs to take a 10-2 lead.
The Railsplitters scored twice in the sixth on a run-scoring walk by Lee Agosto and an RBI ground out by Curt Fuqua. They added another run on an RBI ground out by Woody in the seventh, but the Cavaliers held on for a 10-5 victory.
Scott Miller and Seth Sharp led a 10-hit outing for the Railsplitters with two hits apiece. Austin Pittman was dropped to 0-1 on the year after allowing six hits and four earned runs in three innings of work on the mound for Lincoln Memorial.
Cody Compton improved to 1-1 on the season after surrendering only three earned runs and seven hits in 5.2 innings of work for the Cavaliers. Tyler Hutson led UVa-Wise at the plate with three hits in four trips to the batter’s box.
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UVa-Wise… 023 122 0 — 10 9 2
LMU………. 011 002 1 — 5 10 3
Cody Compton, Jacob Huff(6) and Tommy Meier; Austin Pittman, Dylan Reid(4), Hunter Hill(5), Nick Morabito(6) and Nolan Woody, Nick Pressley. W — Compton (1-1). L — Pittman (0-1). HR — UVW: Brett Hylton.