College Baseball Finals – Guilford 7-4, Eastern Mennonite 6-3

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Josh Shepherd (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) struck out pinch-hitter Jacob Merica with the bases loaded to end the game and preserve Guilford College’s 4-3 baseball win over visiting Eastern Mennonite University Sunday. The Quakers claimed the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) doubleheader’s opener, 7-6, when the Royals misplayed a fly ball with two out and the bases loaded, which allowed the tying and winning runs to score.

Guilford (13-13-1, 4-7 ODAC) had a 4-1 lead entering the nightcap’s ninth inning when the Royals (11-18, 2-10 ODAC) rallied for two runs off of Ty Walser and Shepherd. Pinch-hitter Blake Sargent delivered an RBI single in his college debut, which made it a 4-2 game. Guilford second baseman Trevor Denton (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover (Pitt C.C.)) knocked down Jaylen Lee’s fielder’s choice ground ball, which scored the Royals’ third run and set runners at the corners with one out. After Damon Frazier walked to load the bases, Brett Lindsay grounded to a drawn-in Sam Gerald at third and the Quakers’ senior fired home for the inning’s second out. Shepherd, the Quakers’ senior shortstop, then retired Merica for his first college save.

Winning pitcher Mitchell Stumpo (2-4) (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft) and Denton both had two hits and knocked in runs in Guilford’s two-run first inning. Michael Pinkston and Rocco Wilcox delivered sacrifice flies in the fourth and fifth frames, respectively, to account for Guilford’s other runs. Brett Shapcott (Davidson, N.C./Hough) singled twice and extended his consecutive games on-base streak to 27. Gerald and Dylan Tuttle (Stoneville, N.C./McMichael) also had two hits. Stumpo fanned five in six solid innings. He scattered six hits and walked two, one with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.

Daniel Scott had two hits for Eastern Mennonite. Bailey Hall (3-3) worked six innings, struck out four and gave up 10 hits.

Eastern Mennonite rallied with three runs in the seventh and another in the ninth to take a 6-3 lead in the opener before the Quakers came back to win in dramatic fashion. Pinch-hitter Tanner Hobbs (Browns Summit, N.C./Northeast Guilford) smacked a two-run, one-out single to get Guilford within 6-5. Logan Shortt (Advance, N.C./Calvary Day) followed with a pinch single before Ryan Brewer (0-3) retired Shapcott on a grounder to third. After intentionally walking Shepherd with two outs, Stumpo lifted a fly ball into the sun, which the Royals failed to handle, allowing the tying and winning runs to score.

The misplay made a winner of reliever Rhett Miller (1-0) for the first time in his Guilford career. The junior transfer threw two innings of one-hit ball in relief of starter Denton. Denton, who gave up nine hits and five runs in seven innings, hit a solo homer in the fourth to score the Quakers’ first run. Shapcott, Wilcox, and Shepherd each had two hits. Shepherd also drove in two runs.

Scott led Eastern Mennonite’s offense with a 2-for-5 showing and three RBI. He hit a solo homer in the seventh, his second of the season. Lee also had two hits and Billy Quinn had two RBI. Frazier lasted into the seventh and gave up three runs on seven hits.

Coach Nick Black ’02 hosts league-leading and nationally ranked Roanoke College Wednesday (4/11) at 3:00 p.m.