Baseball Finals – Bridgewater 14-7, Guilford 5-1

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Visiting Bridgewater College clinched the top seed for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Baseball Tournament with two convincing wins at Guilford College Sunday.

The Eagles (23-15, 15-3 ODAC) rallied with eight runs in the eighth inning for a 14-5 win in the opener. They scored five first-inning runs in the nightcap en route to a 7-1 victory.

The news wasn’t all bad for Guilford (16-22, 9-9 ODAC) as the Quakers clinched their first ODAC Tournament bid since 2006 when Hampden-Sydney College and Virginia Wesleyan College both dropped league games Sunday. Guilford will open tournament play Wednesday against second-seeded Lynchburg College at 3:00 p.m. at City Stadium in Lynchburg, Va.

The Quakers took a 5-3 lead in game one on Derek Hardison’s second homer of the year, a lead-off shot in the fifth inning. Bridgewater answered with an unearned run in the seventh and broke the game open with eight runs off of three Quakers’ pitchers in the eighth. Five of the runs were unearned as the Eagles took advantage of four walks and two Guilford errors in the inning. Jonathan Mason’s three-run double and Brett Howell’s two-run double were big hits in the inning.

Mason also hit an RBI double in the third and finished with two hits and a game-high four RBI. Alex Nuttycombe went three-for-five with three RBI and Bryan Sanderson had two hits, including a two-run double in the ninth, plus three RBI. The comeback made a winner out of reliever Christian Armstrong (1-2) for the first time this season.

Hardison, one of three Quakers with two hits, also had two RBI. Reliever Micah Winterstein (0-1) took the loss in relief of starter Will James.

Dustin Arrowood hit a two-run double in Bridgewater’s five-run first inning in game two. Howell, Mason and Jay Thompson all doubled in the second inning, which led to two runs and a 7-0 Eagles’ lead.

Thompson finished with a game-high three hits and scored twice. Kyle Henshaw (2-0) earned the win with two innings of one-hit relief.

Guilford’s Kent Peterson and Robb Elko both had two hits in defeat. Kyle Wooden was one-for-three with an RBI in his final home appearance. He was one of 10 Guilford seniors honored before the team’s regular-season finale.

Bridgewater opens ODAC Tournament play Wednesday (4/20) against sixth-seeded Hampden-Sydney at 11:00 a.m. The winner of the double-elimination tournament earns the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

Bridgewater 14, Guilford 5 (Apr 17, 2011 at Greensboro, NC) (Game 1)
Bridgewater......... 021 000 182  - 14 13  1      (22-16, 14-3 ODAC)
Guilford............ 004 010 000  -  5 10  2      (16-21, 9-8 ODAC)
Pitchers: Bridgewater - Joseph Lucas; Tyler Slanovec(3); Christian Armstrong(7);
Kevin Chandler(8) and Devon Snow. Guilford - Will James; Micah Winterstein(6); Sammy Stuart(8);
David Thomson(8) and Jordan Slate.
Win-Christian Armstrong(1-2)  Loss-Micah Winterstein(0-1)  T-2:25  A-150
HR GC - Derek Hardison.
Weather: sunny, 68, breezy
Joseph Lucas faced 4 batters in the 3rd.
Game: GCB-37

Bridgewater 7, Guilford 1 (Apr 17, 2011 at Greensboro, NC) (Game 2)
Bridgewater......... 520 000 000  -  7 11  2      (23-16, 15-3 ODAC)
Guilford............ 100 000 000  -  1  7  1      (16-22, 9-9 ODAC)
Pitchers: Bridgewater - Robert Gallet; Kyle Henshaw(4); Dillon Via(6); Jake Wade(8) and
Alex Hogge. Guilford - Zach Daw; David Thomson(4); Travis Starbuck(5); Justin Jordan(6);
Mike Gatton(7); Micah Denny(9) and Jordan Slate; Gabe Mirabelli.
Win-Kyle Henshaw(2-0)  Loss-Zach Daw(2-4)  T-2:14  A-150
Weather: 67, sunny, breezy
Game: GCB-38