Bullpen Key as Guilford College Baseball Seizes Season Sweep of Ferrum

Bullpen Key as Guilford College Baseball Seizes Season Sweep of Ferrum
Quakers take advantage of Panther miscues to win seventh-straight over ODAC foe
from Bryce Johnson, Director of Athletic Communications

FERRUM, Va. – Chase Stewart (Charlotte, N.C.) and Jackson Marcellus (Chapel Hill, N.C.) combined for six innings of one-run ball in relief, allowing the offense to get going and the Guilford College baseball team to come from behind and claim a 10-5 victory over Ferrum College in some soggy Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action at Panther Field on Tuesday night.

The win, the Quakers’ fourth in their last five games, brings them to 13-17 on the season, 5-8 against ODAC opponents, and is their seventh straight against their conference rivals who fall to 10-17 on the year, 3-10 against conference competition.

Jacob Phillips (Brown Summit, N.C.) got the ball to start for Guilford, running into trouble in the third, but still completed 3.0 innings allowing four runs, all earned on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Panthers’ starter Steven Ritchie also completed 3.0 innings allowing just one run, it was earned, on two hits, and a walk although he hit two men and fanned just one. So, the game came down to the bullpens and Tyler Smith took the loss for the hosts, allowing five runs, although just two earned, on five hits and a walk in 0.2 innings to fall to 0-2. Stewart allowed just one hit in 3.0 innings in relief to pick up his first career win to improve to 1.0. Marcellus allowed one run over the final three frames, but picked up the save the long way, the second of his career, and first since 2022.

Michael Sumner (Mooresville, N.C.) and Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) owned near-identical lines at the plate, each going 3-of-5 with two runs scored, one batted in, and a steal, the only difference being Boles added a second theft while one of Sumner’s knocks was a double. Skyler Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) picked up just one hit, but drove in two runs while Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.) had two hits and an RBI. Isaiah Hairston (High Point, N.C.) saw his eight-game hitting streak snapped in large part because he was intentionally walked three times. Eight of the nine Ferrum starters collected a hit, although none of them had multiple knocks, Clayton Michael drove in three on a triple and scored to provide a majority of their run support.

The first two innings were uneventful outside of the 30-minute rain delay in the middle of the two frames before the Quakers broke the ice in the top of the third. Carter Blum (McLeansville, N.C.) got the rally started by getting hit with a pitch with one away, advancing to second on a Boles single and to third on a productive out by Dark. GC then executed a first-and-third double steal to grab the lead and while they would load the bases on an HBP and an intentional walk, that is all they got.

After facing the minimum across the first two innings of work, Phillips ran into trouble in the third. With one down, Wyatt Chaffin singled, Kyle Markowitz drew a walk and after a sacrifice bunt, another free pass, this one drawn by Russell Golembe loaded the bases. Michael then cleared the sacks on a three-bagger to center, he advanced the final 90-feet on a Bryce Thacker double, and the Panthers claimed a 4-1 lead.

Guilford countered with a crooked number of their own in the fourth. Smith entered in relief and allowed four consecutive one-out singles by Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.), Jordan Burrough (Greensboro, N.C.), Blum, and Boles with the last one being of the infield variety, plating a run. Dark made it a one-run game with an RBI groundout before Sumner popped one into center. What would have been the third out was instead dropped by Golembe as both Blum and Boles crossed the plate thrusting the Quakers in front. After the second intentional walk in as many innings was distributed to Hairston, Williams extended the advantage with a single the other way as GC claimed a 6-4 lead.

Stewart entered in relief allowing the first man he faced to reach on an infield single, but he locked it down from there for Guilford, allowing the offense time to get some insurance runs on the board that ultimately came in the sixth and seventh innings. A dropped third strike and an infield hit put two on with no one out and both Dark and Sumner advanced on a wild pitch. Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.) reached on an error as both runners came home extending the lead in the sixth. Then in the seventh, a Blum walk, a wild pitch, a Boles single and steal, then a sacrifice fly by Dark and a two-bagger by Sumner brought the score to 10-4

The Panthers got one back on a Shawn Baxter RBI-single in the eighth but they would get no closer as Marcellus and the Quakers secured their seventh-straight win over their conference rivals, 10-5.

Guilford makes the short trip across town next to finalize their season series against Greensboro College, tomorrow night. The game will be played at Truist Point Park down in High Point.