Ray Superb In Game Two, Guilford College Baseball Splits With Washington and Lee

Ray Superb In Game Two, Guilford College Baseball Splits With Washington and Lee
Quakers secure crucial split entering homestretch
from Bryce Johnson, Director of Athletic Communications for the Guilford College Quakers.

LEXINGTON, Va. – In a display eerily similar to his 2023 outing against them, Jacob Ray (Burlington, N.C.) dominated Washington and Lee University, throwing six innings of shutout baseball for the Guilford College baseball team, leading them to an 8-4 game two victory following a 9-3 game one defeat in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play at Cap’n Dick Smith Field on Saturday afternoon.

In what is shaping up as a pivotal pair of contests ahead of the season’s three-quarters mark on Tuesday, the Quakers’ split advances them to 12-17, 5-8 in ODAC play, maintaining their eighth-place standing in the conference. On the other side, the Generals hold serve at .500 overall with a 13-13 mark including 7-9 against conference competition.

Marcello Ricigliano (Kernersville, N.C.) got the ball the game one defeat for GC, falling to 2-4 after allowing six runs, all earned, on nine hits and two walks with just one strikeout over 5.1 innings. Evan Blair improved to 3-1 for W&L allowing three runs, all earned, on seven hits and a walk over 6.0 innings of work. Ben Sundell earned his second save of the season the long way allowing just one baserunner across the final three frames.

Skyler Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) and Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C) collected two hits apiece in the first contest for Guilford. Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) contributed an RBI and Tanner Royals (High Point, N.C.) drove in two with a double in the contest. Zach Senders pilled up three hits, including a double, with three RBI’s for the hosts and Campbell Charneco added two hits and two driven in the win.

Jacob Ray (Burlington, N.C.) put together his best, and longest, outing of the campaign in the night cap, allowing just four hits and a walk against a pair of K’s to pick up his first win of the season and move to 1-3 overall. Wade entered in a jam, but secured the final eight outs for his second save of the year and sixth of his career to crack the program’s top-five. Cooper Charneco got tagged with three runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks versus two strikeouts, taking the loss for Washington and Lee in game two and falling to 1-2.

After managing just a single extra-base hit in the early game, Guilford barreled seven balls that went for multiple bags in game two, their second-most in a contest so far this year and most in conference play. George pilled up four hits including a double, scoring twice and driving in one. Dark had a three-bagger among his trio of knocks while Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) reached in four of his five plate appearances via a double, a triple, and a pair of walks. Carter Blum (McLeansville, N.C.) provided a nice boost out of the nine-hole with two hits, including a double, and a game-high three runs driven in. Jacob Jackson led the Generals with three game two hits, and their only one for extra-bases with a triple. Ethan Zulueta also had multiple hits, scoring once while Paul Ramseur drove in two for W&L.

The Quakers owned the first scoring threat in this one, getting two runners on via singles off the bats of Skyler Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) and Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) with one out in the first, however both runners were stranded on base. Evan Blair and Marcello Ricigliano (Kernersville, N.C.) each hurled a perfect frame before W&L grabbed the lead in the home half of the second. Drew Larson led off with a single, going first-to-third on a knock by Ethan Zulueta. Larson would advance the final 90 feet on a John Turner sacrifice fly as the Generals claimed the advantage. The hosts added another in the third. Zach Senders and Paul Ramseur opened the frame with back-to-back singles, both advanced on a Jacob Jackson SAC bunt, and Senders crossed the plate on a groundout by Campbell Charneco making the Washington and Lee edge 2-0.

Guilford got on the board in the top of the fourth, loading the bases on an Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.) walk, a Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C) single, and a Jordan Burrough (Greensboro, N.C.) sacrifice bunt attempt that he legged out for a hit. Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) advanced the lead runners with a sacrifice fly, opening the Quaker scoring in the process. Then after the second out was recorded and Burrough swiped second, Tanner Royals (High Point, N.C.) split the gap in left-center thrusting GC in front, 3-2. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Generals put together a two-out rally in the home half. Jaden Keuhner got hit by a pitch, Mason Satterfield beat out an infield single, and Senders evened the score with a single into left.

The hosts seized the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth Zulueta drew a free pass to open the inning with Turner following with a single. Mike Carpenter reached on a throwing error, loading the bases and a sacrifice fly and a two-run double by Senders would make the score 6-3. They doubled-up their advantage with RBI-singles by Ramseur, Jackson, and Charneco in the eighth to bring the game one final score to 9-3.

In need of a breakeven day for conference standings into the homestretch, the Quakers got just that in game two.

They grabbed the advantage in the second with Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) singling before the first two outs were recorded. Grayson Tudor (Reidsville, N.C.) kept the inning alive with a single into left-center and Carter Blum (McLeansville, N.C.) cashed in, splitting the pull-side gap to plate both runs. GC added another in the third when Michael Sumner (Mooresville, N.C.) doubled to right-center, swiped third, and scored on George’s second hit in as many innings.

All the while, Jacob Ray (Burlington, N.C.) was putting together his best start of the season scattering four hits and a walk while facing just three over the minimum across six innings. W&L got two men on in the fifth on a single and a walk, but a 6-4-3 double play extinguished the threat before Ray left a man on third after a Jacob Jackson triple the following inning.

Guilford added some insurance the top of the fifth. Sumner reached on an error to start the inning and Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) made his mark on the day, bashing a three-bagger to center to score the run. He came across the plate on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.) making the lead five and they would need all of them as the Generals mounted a comeback in the home half. Now facing Jacob Phillips (Brown Summit, N.C.), Washington and Lee got one-out singles from Ethan Zulueta, John Turner, and Jaden Keuhner, with the last of the batch getting the hosts on the board. Mason Satterfield drew a free pass to load the bases as GC was forced to turn to the bullpen, calling upon Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C). All three inherited runners scored on an RBI-single by Zach Senders and a two-run knock by Paul Ramseur, but he induced a lineout and a flyout from the second and third batters in the General lineup to maintain the lead at 5-4.

The Quakers pulled away for good in the top of the ninth. With one out, Williams and George singled with one away before Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) got walked intentionally to load the bases. Jordan Burrough (Greensboro, N.C.) drove a double to the opposite field, scoring a pair and following another walk, Blum plated Boles with a sacrifice fly to make the score 8-4.

With some breathing room Wade locked things down, matching his eighth inning performance with a flawless ninth with a pair of strikeouts to secure the victory by that score.

Guilford remains on the road with a midweek ODAC clash under the Ferrum College lights on Tuesday, April 9th. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM.