Bridgewater College jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings Tuesday afternoon and the Eagles went on to defeat No. 17 Shenandoah, 12-6, in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) baseball action.
Bridgewater (15-7, 7-3 ODAC) took advantage of Shenandoah starter Vince Claudio's wildness to jump out to an early lead.
Claudio walked Nick Fulk and Derrik Walling to start the bottom of the first and both runners moved up on Bryan Sanderson's sacrifice bunt. The Eagles got on the board when Fulk raced home on Justin Petock's grounder to second. After Brendan Howell worked Claudio for a walk, Zach Hynes drove in Walling with a single for a 2-0 Bridgewater lead.
With one out in the second, Fulk reached on an error and stole second. After Walling walked, Fulk scored on a single by Sanderson, making the score 3-0. Petock then plated Walling with a sacrifice fly to put the Eagles on top 4-0.
Shenandoah (18-5, 10-2 in the ODAC) got to Eagles starter Nick Corbin for three runs in the third. JJ McDaniel got things started when he led off with an opposite field homer to right to put Shenandoah on the board. Joe Bittner and Ricky Pardo followed with singles and both moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Billy Arens. Bittner scored on a single by Corbin Lucas and Pardo scored on Michael Paul's single as the Hornets closed the gap to 4-3.
Bridgewater answered in the bottom half of the inning by putting three runs on the board. Hynes led off with a single and scored on a double to the gap in left center by Bay Liskey, making the score 5-3. A single by Tyler Hoffman put runners at the corners and Liskey scored on Darren Yoder's groundout to first. Hoffman moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Walling's single up the middle for a 7-3 Bridgewater lead.
The Hornets chipped away and scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to close the margin to 7-5 after five innings of play.
Ryan Leake came out of the Eagles bullpen and silenced the Hornets in the sixth and his teammates added a run in the bottom of the sixth to pad the lead. Fulk singled to lead off the inning against lefty reliever Andrew Zarobila and moved to second on a groundout. Petock lined a two-out single to right-center to score Fulk, putting the Eagles on top 8-5.
Shenandoah continued to battle and pulled to with two with a run in the seventh. Lucas led off the Shenandoah seventh with a bunt single and continued to second on a throwing error. Leake then walked Nolan Overby and Eagles coach Curt Kendall summoned lefty Corey Armentrout out of the bullpen. Armentrout retired Paul on a grounder to first as Lucas moved to third while Overby took second. Pinch-hitter Daniel Freshley plated Lucas with a sacrifice fly, but Armentrout limited the damage by retiring Andrew Creamer on a grounder to second to end the inning.
Bridgewater tacked on two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to close out the victory.
Hoffman led off the seventh with a single, but pinch-runner Hunter Hensley was out at second on Yoder's grounder. Fulk singled and Walling was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Side-arming righty Garrett Woddell came out of the pen and retired Sanderson on a pop fly to shallow left, but Petock delivered a clutch two-out, two–run single to extend the Eagles lead to 10-6.
In the eighth Liskey led off with a single and Hensley followed with a bunt single to start the inning. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Yoder, but with first base open the Hornets intentionally walked Fulk to load the bases. Lefty Matt Reigler came out of the pen to face Walling. Walling hit a grounder back to the mound and Reigler threw home to get the force out. Shenandoah catcher Bittner then threw to first in an attempt to complete the double play, but his throw sailed into the Hornets bullpen allowing both Fulk and Hensley to score, making the score 12-6.
Corbin picked up the victory as he allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings on the mound. Armentrout pitched three innings and allowed one hit to pick up his second save of the season.
The Eagles finished the day with 15 hits. Fulk was 2-for-4 and scored five runs. Petock was also 2-for-4 and he finished with five RBIs. Hynes and Hoffman added three hits each and Liskey finished with a pair of base hits.
Shenandoah had 12 hits as five different players – Lucas, Overby, McDaniel, Bittner and Pardo – each had two hits. Claudio took his first loss of the season to drop to 4-1. He allowed seven runs, five earned, on seven hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked five.
Bridgewater is back in action Wednesday afternoon when the Eagles travel to play Washington and Lee at 4:00 p.m. in another ODAC contest. The Eagles return home Thursday afternoon for a non-conference game with Mary Washington. First pitch Thursday is set for 4:00 p.m.