BRIDGEWATER – Roanoke and Bridgewater squared off in conference play Saturday with the Maroons sweeping a doubleheader from the Eagles, winning the first game 7-3 and the second game 6-5.
In the opener, Roanoke scored four runs in the top of the ninth to snap a 3-3 tie and take a 7-3 win. In the second game, the Maroons had just enough cushion to withstand Bridgewater's three-run eighth inning as the visitors held on for the 6-5 victory.
Roanoke scored three runs in the second inning to take the lead in the opener. Sam Watson led off the inning with a single and raced around to third on an errant pickoff throw. Sean Guida walked and then stole second, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Dean Hermanson followed with a single up the middle, scoring Watson with the first run. Guida raced home when the centerfielder misplayed the ball and Hermanson ended up on second base. Gavin Kandrick singled Hermanson home, putting the Maroons ahead 3-0.
Roanoke starter Matthew Franklin blanked the Eagles through five innings, while Bridgewater lefty Chad Lenz entered the game to start the fourth and allowed no runs on four hits over his five-inning stint.
Bridgewater finally got to Franklin in the sixth. Jacob Talley reached on a one-out single and moved to third on a two-out double by Jake Bailey. Jacob Grabeel delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single to pull the Eagles to within one, 3-2.
Bridgewater tied the score in the bottom of the eighth when pinch-hitter Luke Paczewski doubled down the left-field line with one out. After Talley was caught looking at a third strike, Kevin Navedo doubled over the centerfielder's head, scoring pinch-runner Will Clift with the tying run.
Roanoke scored four runs in the top of the ninth without the benefit of a base hit. Three walks, a hit batsman, an infield error, a sacrifice fly and a balk led to the four runs and a 7-3 lead.
In the second game, a three-run third inning put the Maroons up 3-0. Will Smith led off with an infield single and scored on a double by Will Merriken to put Roanoke on the board. Merriken scored on a double by Will Salva and Salva crossed the plate on a single by Jack Howard to put the Maroons on top 3-0.
Roanoke increased the margin to 5-0 with two runs in the sixth inning. Sean Guida and Merriken produced run-scoring singles to pad the Maroons' advantage.
Bridgewater took advantage of a pair of Roanoke errors to score a run in the sixth, but the Maroons answered with a run in the top of the seventh to lead 6-1.
Bridgewater scratched out another run in the bottom of the seventh to trail 6-2. Cameron Stanley led off the inning with a single and, with two outs, Parker Mead walked. Chris King followed with a single to left that scored Stanley.
The Eagles scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to close the gap to a single run. Talley led off the inning with a double and took third on a wild pitch. After Navedo walked, Talley scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett jones. Stanley then belted a homer to deep left-center, cutting Roanoke's lead to 6-5.
Paczewski singled with one out in the ninth, but Roanoke's Kevin Leford retired the next two batters to preserve the victory for the Maroons.
The Eagles, now, 10-5 overall, return to action Tuesday with a non-conference home game with Stevenson