VIRGINIA BEACH -- A four-hit production in the bottom of the sixth inning helped to produce three runs for the host Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins who went on to a thrilling 8-6 victory over previously undefeated Southern Virginia University at Marlins Field on Saturday.
It turned out to be a standout afternoon for the Marlins (2-3) who made it a sweep, posting a 6-1 win over the Knights (5-2) in the second game, helped by a four-run fifth inning.
Senior Billy Crowe (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) cranked out a double to lead off the bottom of the sixth in the first game, and moved to third on a single by seniorEvan Polk (Chesapeake/Great Bridge). Senior Matt Ittner (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox) scored Crowe on a sacrifice fly to right and Polk tallied when junior Brett Sutryk (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) singled. Sophomore Jordan Miller (Chesapeake/Grassfield) singled to send Sutryk home for the third run.
It was a three-run surge that wiped out a big six-run fifth inning for the Knights, who connected for five hits, including doubles by Avery Benesch (Gilbert, Ariz./Campo Verde), Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) and Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla./Muskogee). SVU came back in the sixth to load bases, but could not squeeze out any runs.
Virginia Wesleyan led 3-0 after the second inning, helped by an error and a two-run triple by Polk. The Marlins tacked on another run in the third when senior Ken Belgrave (Norfolk/Maury) doubled and scored later on a two out double by senior Josh Miller (Norfolk/Chesapeake Greenbrier Christian).
Sophomore George Annunziata (Pawling, N.Y./Pawling) and Polk led a 10-hit VWC attack with two hits each. VWC used four pitchers, starting with junior Reid Hoffler (Chesapeake/Suffolk Nansemond River) who faced 18 batters in four innings and struck out four. He gave up five hits and one earned run. Senior Tyler Tweedy (Yorktown/Chesapeake Greenbrier Chrisian) and junior Brooks Kirby (Warwickshire, United Kingdom/Cobham School) combined to face the next eight batters, before sophomore Reed Duffer (Keysville/Randolph Henry) enter to close. He pitched the final two innings, struck out one and allowed two hits and a walk en route to taking the pitching win.
Scott Austin took the pitching loss for the Knights after facing the last nine batters. He relieved Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah/Roy). Stevenson led SVU's 10-hit offense with three hits, including a double.
In game two Virginia Wesleyan scored in the first inning and never trailed. Ittner led off with a bunt and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Jordan Miller. The Marlins took a 2-0 lead with a run in the third when Josh Miller singled to center field to score Belgrave, who boarded base earlier on a double to left.
SVU cut into the lead with a run in the top of the fourth, but Virginia Wesleyan came back with a four-run fifth. Belgrave ripped a one-out triple to left and scored when Jordan Miller launched a two-run homer to left center. Josh Miller and Annunziata also singled in the inning, which included a Crowe double.
Virginia Wesleyan outhit SVU 11-5, led by Josh Miller, Belgrave, Annunziata and Crowe with two hits each. Sophomore Dylan Stoskus (Ashburn/Arlington Bishop O'Connell) turned in a solid pitching effort to complement the hitting as he pitched the distance, striking out five batters, walking two and scattering five hits. He allowed just one earned run.
Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz./Highland) led SVU with two hits. Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss./Forest) took the pitching loss for the Knights, striking out three and giving up five hits in three innings.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Tuesday, Feb. 19, hosting No. 9 Salisbury University at Marlins Field.