GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ryan Hill’s (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern Randolph) two-out, ninth-inning walk-off single gave Guilford College’s baseball team a 10-9, comeback win over Wittenberg University Friday. The victory completed a sweep of the visiting Tigers (3-6) after the Quakers (6-6-1) took a 5-4 win in the opener of the two seven-inning contests.
The Quakers erased two four-run deficits and trailed, 9-8, entering the eighth inning of game two. Trevor Denton’s fourth-inning grand slam highlighted Guilford’s five-run fourth inning, which gave the Quakers an 8-7 edge.
Wittenberg answered with Patrick Kenny’s RBI double in the top of the seventh and regained the lead on a Gabe Stacy RBI single in the eighth.
Guilford was down to its final strike in the bottom of the eighth before Rocco Wilcox delivered a game-tying single to right. After Bailey Garfield (Clemmons, N.C./North Davidson (Catawba Valley C.C.)) (1-1) retired the Tigers in order in the top of the ninth, Logan King (Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford) hit a one-out single, took second on a Logan Shortt (Advance, N.C./Calvary Day School) groundout and was subbed out in favor of Zack Harris. Harris scored the game-winning run from second on Hill’s flare to shallow center than bounced just in front of charging centerfielder Matt Baker.
Denton, King, and Rocco Wilcox each had two hits apiece for Guilford. Denton also had four RBI and Wilcox plated three. Garfield twirled 3.1 innings in relief and held the Tigers to two runs on three hits.
Stacy had four of Wittenberg’s 12 hits, plus two RBI. Kenny was 2-for-5 with four RBI and Baker went 2-5 with two runs and two RBI. Adam Mays (0-1), Wittenberg’s third pitcher, entered in the ninth and took the loss.
Guilford managed only two hits in the opener, but both were in a three-run fifth inning that supported solid pitching by Denton (3-1) and reliever Rhett Miller. The Quakers scored two first-inning runs without a hit or a walk thanks to four Wittenberg errors.
Josh Shepherd followed Gio Garcia’s fifth-inning infield hit with a towering three-run homer to left that opened a 5-1 lead.
The Tigers loaded the bases against Denton in the sixth and Hamrick ripped a two-run double down the left field line. Miller replaced Denton and Wittenberg pulled to within one when Hayden Knox scored from third on a passed ball. Miller fanned Jack Hollinshead and Gage Carpenter to get out of the jam.
Stacy reached second base with two outs in the Tigers’ seventh, but Miller got designated hitter Tim Bates to ground out for Miller’s first save as a Quaker.
Wittenberg starter Rusty Hayhurst (0-2) threw a complete-game two hitter, but yielded five runs, three of which were earned.
The two teams play the final game of the three-game set Saturday at noon on Guilford’s McBane Field.