Freshmen Standout, Lead Guilford College Baseball To Comeback Win Over Ferrum

Freshmen Standout, Lead Baseball To Comeback Win Over Ferrum
Dark notches five hits, George adds three more in conference victory
from Bryce Johnson, Director of Athletic Communications at Guilford College

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Trailing by eight halfway through at McBane Field, the Guilford College baseball team came from behind in their first midweek Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) contest, to defeat Ferrum College, 14-11, on Wednesday afternoon.

With the win, the Quakers improve to 9-12 on the season, winning their third-straight game for the first time this year, with two of those victories coming against conference foes as they move to 2-3 in ODAC action. FC sees their four-game win steak snapped, dropping to 9-9, 2-3 against conference competition.

Despite not walking or plunking a man, Jackson Marcellus (Chapel Hill, N.C.) was tagged to the tune of six runs, five of them earned across the first 4.0 innings, he wound up off the hook receiving a no decision. The same was true for Panthers starter Tyler Smith who was only permitted to go through the lineup once on a bullpen day for Ferrum, allowing two hits and a walk across 2.0 scoreless frames. Thus, the decisions came down to the bullpens and it was Ty Clark (Stoneville, N.C.) who grabbed his first win of the season to improve to 1-2. Matt Wright ended up on the losing side of the ledger after allowing five runs in 1.0 inning of work, falling to 0-3. Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.) locked down the Quakers’ first save of the season, registering the final four outs.

Skyler Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) posted five hits in the contest for GC, a feat that had not been done since Saturday, when Michael Sumner (Mooresville, N.C.) did it, although prior to that it had not been done since 2017. All of his hits were singles and he came around to score on three occasions. Sumner collected three knocks of his own scoring twice, and Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) matched his hit total, scoring twice and driving in two more. Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) entered off the bench, recording just three plate appearances, but made the most of them going 2-for-3 with a crucial two-run homer. Kyle Markowitz and Tyler Mason each went deep for the guests, the former also had a triple, driving in three and scoring twice. Clayton Michael finished 2-of-5 with a double, driving in two and scoring twice.

Ferrum grabbed the advantage in the top of the first Russell Golembe reached on a single through the shortstop hole with one out, then Sumner mishandled what would have been a tailor-made double play ball off the bat of Michael. Bryce Thacker tucked a grounder inside of the third base bag, scoring Golembe as the throw back in went awry, sneaking into the Panthers’ dugout and allowing another run to cross the plate.

The visitors tacked on three more in the second as Markowitz and Mason each left the park with solo homers before Golembe blooped a double into right. He came home on a Michael single although he ended the inning after getting caught in no-mans-land after rounding first. FC added another tally in the third when Davis Yeaman tripled just out of the reach of Dark down the rightfield line to plate Mason Moffett, making the score 6-0, Ferrum.

Guilford got one back in the home half of the third when Dark singled, Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) was walked intentionally, and Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.) was walked normally, with Dark darting home on a Wade fielder’s choice.

The guests got three in the top of the fifth via a Markowitz two-run triple and a Shawn Baxter run-scoring double before the Quaker comeback began in the home half of the inning. Dark and Sumner registered singles before Hairston hit one hard but at the first baseman. However, Moffett still could not handle it cleanly as the ball trickled down the rightfield line advancing everyone an extra 90 with Dark scoring on the play. Williams drew his second free pass to load the bases prior to a run scoring when Wade rolled into a twin killing. George followed by yanking a grounder through the shortstop hole to plate a run. Grayson Tudor (Reidsville, N.C.) then tapped a comebacker to the pitcher, Aulden Richardson, but his shovel throw to complete the putout got away down the line and since he was off on contact with two outs already, George came all the way around to score as Tudor took second on the play. He came home when Jordan Burrough (Greensboro, N.C.) tapped chopper towards the second base hole that just took off on one of the hops, scooting into right and bringing in a run and when the inning came to a close, Guilford had cut the 9-1 deficit to 9-6.

The Quakers then seized the advantage in the sixth. The top of the lineup once again lit the spark with Dark legging out an infield hit and Sumner following with a single to the opposite field. A couple of productive flyouts by Hairston and Williams ensued, bringing in the inning’s first tally. Wade lined one into the left-centerfield gap that narrowly evaded the glove of the diving Golembe. George singled in Wade, evening things at nine-all, then Colin McGuire (Wilkesboro, N.C.) pinch hit and drew a walk. Burrough came through with his second RBI-single in as many innings, this one a worm-burner up the middle, thrusting GC in front. Boles then legged out an infield hit but the throw went down the line, allowing Nico Clark (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who ran for McGuire, and Burrough to come on home and bring the lead to 12-9.

After two tremendous innings in relief, Clark found trouble in the eighth. He got the first two outs on a foul pop out around the plate and a soft comebacker, but then Golembe singled and scored on a Michael double down the rightfield line. Wade came on in relief and allowed the inherited runner to cross the plate on a Thacker single, but maintained the lead at 12-11.

Boles grabbed some insurance runs in the home half, jumping on a 1-0 pitch and cranking a no-doubter over the Greensboro Monster down the line in left, a two-run shot for his second homerun of the season, before Wade shut it down with a one-two-three ninth with a pair of K’s to complete the 14-11 victory.

Guilford stays in conference, but hits the road to clash with Randolph-Macon on Saturday for a twinbill. Game one begins at noon in Ashland, Virginia.