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Strong Starting Pitching Leads Eagles To Doubleheader Sweep

Andrew Berry struck out 11 batters in six innings against SUNY Oneonta.

BRIDGEWATER - Bridgewater College rode strong starting pitching performances from Tristan Daywalt and Andrew Berry to sweep Saturday's baseball doubleheader from Oneonta State. The Eagles shut out the Red Dragons 5-0 in the opener and then won the second game 5-2.

The Eagles improved to 7-1 overall and have now win six straight games.

Bridgewater jumped out to an early lead in the opener with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Batten led off with a double to left-center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Parker Mead then walked and stole second. Chris King struck out, but reached first on a passed ball to load the bases with no outs. Brett Jones followed with a single to center, scoring Batten and Mead for a 2-0 Eagles lead. Jacob Talley then plated King with a single to put the Eagles on top 3-0.

The Red Dragons had a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but each time Daywalt was able to work out of trouble.

The Eagles made it 4-0 with a run in the fifth. King walked and took second on a wild pitch and scored when Jones doubled down the rightfield line.

Daywalt cruised through the middle innings, but ran into a big jam in the seventh. With one out, John Zinko singled and Daywalt walked the next two batters to load the bases. The Eagles went to the bullpen for Tucker Garrison and the lefty retired the next two batters on a fly ball to shallow left and a popup to short to preserve the 4-0 lead. 

Bridgewater added its final run in the eighth when the Eagles, with runners at the corners, executed the double steal with Navedo stealing home to make the score 5-0.

Kyle Jones worked the final two innings for the Eagles to preserve the 5-0 victory.

Daywalt ran his record to 3-0 on the season with 6.1 innings of shutout work. He allowed five hits while walking three and striking out four. Daywalt lowered his earned run average to 1.35.

Jones drove in three runs in the opener to increase his RBI total to 13 in the first eight games of the season.

The Red Dragons nicked Eagles starter Andrew Berry for a run in the top of the first as the early frames were dominated by pitching. Berry struck out six hitters in the first three innings while Oneonta starter Takoda Sitar allowed just one hit in the first three innings. 

Bridgewater finally got to Sitar in the bottom of the fourth. King led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Sitar struck out the next two batters, but freshman Kevin Navedo belted a homer over the left-center field fence, his second of the season, to put the Eagles up 2-1.

The Eagles used the long ball again in the fifth when Batten lined a homer to right for a 3-1 Bridgewater lead.

Bridgewater padded its lead with two more runs in the sixth. King led off the inning with a single and stole second. Jones walked and then King moved to third on a wild pitch to put runners on the corners with one out. Navedo was next up and he dropped a bunt down the third base line. King scored on the play, making the score 4-1. Cameron Stanley followed with a single to the hole at shot and when the throw across the diamond skipped away from the first baseman, Jones scored, giving Bridgewater a 5-1 lead.

Dominc LaMonica accounted for the game's final run when the Red Dragons' first baseman homered to the opposite field in the ninth for the final 5-2 margin.

Berry was dominant in his six innings of work, allowing just the first inning run on three hits. He struck out 11 and did not walk a batter. In the 13 innings this season, Berry has struck out 21 batters while walking just two. He lowered his ERA to 1.38.

The Eagles now head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for spring break where the team will play five games during the next week. Bridgewater is back in action Monday when the Eagles play a doubleheader against Lehman. The Eagles return home on Saturday, March 10 when they begin conference play with a doubleheader against Roanoke College.