BRIDGEWATER - Bridgewater College wiped out a 3-2 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday to win the second game of a doubleheader 6-3, earning a split on the day with Lynchburg College. The Hornets won the opener, 4-2.
With the split, the Eagles are now 11-6-1 overall and 1-3 in the ODAC. The Hornets are 10-6, 3-4 in conference play.
Pitching was the name of the game in both games Sunday as mistakes in the field proved costly to both teams.
In the second game, Bridgewater starter Andrew Berry was dominant through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Tanner Cummins led off the fifth inning with a double and two walks loaded the bases. Thomas Powell's single up the middle plated two runs, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
Lynchburg starter Jason Wood matched Berry through the early innings, pitching five shutout innings, but the freshman was replaced in the sixth after walking the leadoff hitter, Jacob Grabeel. Michael Reiskind came out of the pen and got the first out when Jacob Talley hit into a force play. Chris King singled to put two runners on and a bloop single to left by Luke Paczewski scored Talley to pull the Eagles to within 2-1. Cameron Stanley walked to load the bases and pinch-hitter Brett Lyoshir walked on a 3-2 pitch, scoring King to tie the score at 2-2.
The Hornets regained the lead in the seventh off the Eagles' bullpen. With one out, Eagles' reliever Kyle Jones hit Shawn Allen with a pitch. Will Harris singled and Matt Ward drew a walk to load the bases, still with one out. Ryan Skadra was then summoned from the bullpen and Lynchburg's Bradley Hylton hit a chopper to second, scoring Allen to give the Hornets a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles took advantage of two errors in the eighth to produce the winning rally.
Reliever Kyle Jacksic started the eighth and walked the leadoff batter, Brett Jones. Graham Boggio then entered the game for the Hornets and he retired Cameron Stanley on a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Boggio struck out Lyoshir for the second out before the Eagles' sent their leading hitter, Austin Batten, to the plate as a pinch-hitter. With first base open, the Hornets issued an intentional walk to Batten, bringing Parker Mead to the plate. Mead hit a groundball to shortstop that was bobbled for an error, giving the Eagles a bases-loaded situation with two outs. Boggio then hit Grabeel with a pitch to force home the tying run. With the bases still loaded, Jacob Talley put the Eagles ahead, 5-3, with a two-run single to left. The final run of the inning scored on another error as the Eagles headed to the ninth with a 6-3 lead.
Tucker Garrison came out of the bullpen and nailed down the save, giving the Eagles their first conference win of the season.
Berry worked the first six innings for the Eagles and allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out seven and walked four. Skadra pitched 1.2 innings and did not allow a hit to earn his first college victory. Garrison picked up his first save with the Eagles.
The opener also featured strong pitching performances from the starters as Lynchburg's Matt Kane and Bridgewater's Chad Lenz each worked six solid innings.
Two Bridgewater errors led to three unearned runs in the second inning as the Hornets jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Bridgewater chipped away at the margin, scoring single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Batten walked with two outs and Grabeel followed with a triple, cutting the margin to 3-1. Brett Jones belted a solo homer in the fourth to make it a one-run game, 3-2.
Hylton singled home a run in the fifth to put the Hornets ahead 4-2 and that proved to be enough as David Goulding silenced the Eagles on one hit over the final three innings to preserve the 4-2 win for the Hornets.
Lenz was saddled with the loss despite allowing just one earned run on six hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Due to wet weather forecast for the middle of the week, the Eagles will be back in action Monday afternoon when they host Shenandoah with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played Wednesday afternoon.