College Baseball Finals – Guilford 9-9, Virginia Wesleyan 4-7

NORFOLK, Va. – John Macon Smith’s (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford (Western Carolina)) three-run homer keyed a six-run eighth inning in Guilford College’s 9-7 win at Virginia Wesleyan College Saturday. The sophomore’s NCAA Division III-leading ninth blast of the year fueled the Quakers’ (16-13, 5-3 ODAC) first doubleheader sweep of their Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rivals in school history.

Guilford took advantage of three Virginia Wesleyan (5-16, 1-7 ODAC) errors in a five-run ninth inning to win the opener, 9-4. The Marlins grabbed a 4-0 lead after two innings, but the Quakers chipped their way back and tied the game on Casey Mann’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly. Justin Pittman (Archdale, N.C./Trinity) plated the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the ninth, his second run-scoring hit of the game.

Kent Peterson paced Guilford’s offense with three hits and rookie Chad Wagoner (Archdale, N.C./Trinity) (1-0) earned his first college victory with two perfect innings in relief of starter Will James.

Josh Miller went two-for-three and hit a two-run single in the second that opened a 4-0 Virginia Wesleyan lead. Anthony Siracusa (0-5), the last of five Marlins’ pitchers, took the loss.

The Quakers jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead in the nightcap, but the Marlins tied the game at 3-3 with two fourth-inning runs. They went ahead with an unearned run in the seventh on Miller’s RBI single.

Guilford’s first seven batters of the eighth inning reached base safely, including Smith, who greeted reliever Reid Hoffler with a three-run home run to right to open a 9-4 lead. Mann’s fielder’s choice in the inning scored pinch-runner Herc Ingels with the go-ahead run.

Virginia Wesleyan closed the margin to 9-7 with three runs in the bottom of the ninth, two off a single by Matt Ittner.

Guilford’s Borja Jones-Berasaluce (3-1) picked up the win with seven solid innings. He struck out four and walked only one. D.J. Phillips paced the offense with four hits. Smith and Ben Esser both added three hits.

Siracusa and Alex Lambert both had three hits for Virginia Wesleyan.

Guilford visits Roanoke College Tuesday (4/3) night for a 7:00 p.m. ODAC game.

Guilford – 9
Virginia Wesleyan – 4
Mar 31, 2012 at Norfolk, VA – Game 1

   Guilford............ 000 101 115  -  9 11  1      (15-13, 4-4 ODAC)
   Virginia Wesleyan... 220 000 000  -  4  8  5      (5-15, 1-6 ODAC)

Pitchers: Guilford – Will James; Chad Wagoner(8) and Gabe Mirabelli; Will Byrd. Virginia Wesleyan – Alex Tucci; Ryan Brinkley(7); Reid Hoffler(7); Anthony Siracusa(8) and Billy Crowe.
Win-Chad Wagoner(1-0)
Loss-Anthony Siracusa(0-5)
Weather: Cloudy & light rain
Game notes:
Old Dominion Athletic Conference game
A.Tucci faced 1 batter in the 7th.
R.Brinkley faced 3 batters in the 7th.
Game: GCB-28

Guilford – 9
Virginia Wesleyan – 7
Mar 31, 2012 at Norfolk, VA – Game 2

   Guilford............ 300 000 060  -  9 15  2      (16-13, 5-4 ODAC)
   Virginia Wesleyan... 100 200 103  -  7 16  3      (5-16, 1-7 ODAC)

Pitchers: Guilford – B. Jones-Berasaluce; Micah Winterstein(8); Ryan Lindsay(9) and Will Byrd; Gabe Mirabelli. Virginia Wesleyan – Justin Payne; Reid Hoffler(8); Brooks Kirby(8) and Billy Crowe.
Win-B. Jones-Berasaluce(3-1)
Loss-Justin Payne(1-3)
HR GC – John Macon Smith.
Weather: Cloudy

Game notes:
Old Dominion Athletic Conference game
J.Payne faced 5 batters in the 8th.
R.Hoffler faced 1 batter in the 8th.
Game: GCB-29