VIRGINIA BEACH -- Neumann University's Knights posted early leads in both games of a doubleheader on Sunday and made them stand up through the final innings to sweep the host Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan College.
The Knights (4-0) used a four-run surge in the second inning of the first gme to grap the lead en route to a 9-5 victory. In the second game, it was a five-run second inning that put the team from Pennsylvania in front for good. VWC (4-7) closed within a 6-3 score after three innings, but Neumann outscored the Marlins 5-3 in the final innings to take an 11-6 win in the second contest at Marlins Field.
VWC searched through its pitching ranks in both games, using seven hurlers in the first game and three in the second. Brooks Kirby (Warwickshire, U.K./Cobham School) started for the Marlins in the first game and worked 1.2 innings, the longest stay of any VWC pitcher in the game. The seven pitchers combined to strike out two batters, walk just one, and allow 15 hits and six earned runs.
Neumann started with Russ Gilliam (Brick, N.J./Monsignor Donovan) and closed with JJ Sims (Havertown, Pa./Haverford). They combined efforts to strike out six, walk one and allow 10 hits and three earned runs.
Jacob Pierce (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) connected for his fourth home run of the young season for the Marlins. He posted two hits overall, as did Myles Shipp (Virginia Beach/First Colonial) and Josh Miller (Norfolk, Va./Chesapeake Greenbrier Christian), who both doubled.
Bill Pace (Boothwyn, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) led Neumann with a home run, triple and single, driving in three runs overall. Pace also led his team in the second game with a 3-for-3 showing, driving in five runs with the help of two doubles and a triple.
Shipp knocked out a triple for the Marlins, who received two hits each from Mike McCutcheon (Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek), Gage Collins (Newport News, Va./Menchville), Mitch Green (Cordova, Md./St. Michael's) and Pierce.
Jake Newton (DeRuyter, N.Y./DeRutyer) started on the mound for VWC and worked three innings, before making way for Mike Wiley (Virginia Beach/Bayside) and Evan Polk (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge).
Neumann used five pitchers, led by starter Josh Krautwald (Pittsgrove, N.J./Delsea), who faced 15 batters and picked up the win.
Virginia Wesleyan will attempt to snap a current five-game losing skid on Friday, Mar. 4 when it plays a non-conference contest at Stevenson University at 3 p.m. The Marlins play again on Saturday, Mar. 5, in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference doubleheader at Eastern Mennonite University at noon.