Guilford College Baseball Surges to Fourth-Straight Victory Over Averett: Quakers on a roll, winning 16-0

Guilford College Baseball Surges to Fourth-Straight Victory Over Averett
Williams and Boles go deep in support of Phillips’ shutout effort
from Bryce Johnson, Director of Athletic Communications at Guilford College

DANVILLE, Va. – It was a dominant all-around showing for the Guilford College baseball team, as they churned out 19 hits and 16 runs in support of a combined shutout effort, led by Jacob Phillips (Brown Summit, N.C.) to secure an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory over Averett University, 16-0, on Wednesday afternoon at Owen-Fulton Field.

The win, their fourth straight and eighth in their last ten, lifts the Quakers to 17-18, 9-8 in ODAC play, and with an Eastern Mennonite University loss elsewhere in conference action, Guilford’s magic number for a postseason berth is now down to three over one of EMU or Hampden-Sydney College. Averett, on the other hand, sees themselves swept by GC on the season, dropping to 8-23, 4-12 in league play.

It was a career day for Phillips on the mound, fanning a career-high seven, shutting down the Cougars for 6.0 scoreless innings allowing just four hits and hit batsman to earn his first win of the season and improve to 1-1. Phillips along with Chase Stewart (Charlotte, N.C.), and Jackson Marcellus (Chapel Hill, N.C.) finished allowing just six baserunners, none of them walks, facing just five men over the minimum on the mound. Cole McLain got the ball for the hosts and was solid until he encountered trouble in the fifth. He finished going 4.0-plus innings allowing six runs, five of them earned, on nine hits and two walks against a single strikeout, falling to 1-1.

Seven Quakers had multiple hits including Aaron Williams (Mocksville, N.C.), Chase Wade (Archdale, N.C.), and Ethan George (Burlington, N.C.) who had three each. George scored a contest-best four times and drove in one while Wade had a double and Williams hit a home run among their knocks on the day. Nick Boles (Madison, N.C.) also went deep across his two hits, scoring three times and driving in a game-high four. Mason Williams was the only Cougar with multiple hits, finishing 2-of-4 with a double. Kevin Zischke and Trevor Testerman also connected on a two-bagger for the hosts.

Each team squandered a scoring chance with a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in the first before Guilford opened the scoring in the second. George led off by dumping a single into right-center, he took second on a groundout, third on a wild pitch, and darted home on a groundout by Boles. Just like that, 1-0 Quakers.

A little luck helped GC extend the advantage in the fourth. For the second time in as many at-bats, George picked up a leadoff single, advancing to second on a Grayson Tudor (Reidsville, N.C.) base on balls a couple batters later. It looked as if the Cougars were going to get out of the inning unharmed, when Skyler Dark (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) rolled one over to short, but the Averett second baseman, Tyler Lowe, failed to secure the catch as the ball rolled away just far enough for George to scramble the final 90 feet, scoring from second on the play, doubling the advantage. A hit batsman loaded the bases as the Quakers looked for more, but a groundout forced them to settle for the one tally and the 2-0 lead.

Guilford pulled away in the fifth. The inning’s first run came courtesy of Williams, who got a 1-1 offering to drive, clearing the fence in straight-away left for his fifth home run of the season. Wade followed with GC’s second-straight extra-base hit, a double under the third baseman’s glove, before George accumulated his third single of the game, this one of the infield variety, in the direction of the shortstop hole to put runners on the corners. Both runners advanced on a passed ball with Wade crossing the plate, before a walk brought an abrupt end to McLain’s outing. Boles beat the play at first on a sacrifice bunt attempt, reaching with a hit and loading the bases. Tudor came through, singling to center, bringing home a pair as a misplay in the outfield allowed Boles to take third. The streak of seven Quakers to reach safely to begin the inning was finally snapped as the first out was recorded, but a first-and-third double steal scored another run, the fifth of the inning. While that would conclude the GC scoring in the stanza, the damage had been done as they had opened the lead to 7-0.

After playing some small-ball earlier in the game with a bunt single, Boles turned to the longball instead in the sixth, cranking a 2-1 pitch inside the foul pole in left for his third homer of the season, a two-run shot. GC eclipsed the ten-run mark with RBI-singles by Williams and Wade in the seventh, extending the lead to 11-0.

All the while, Phillips was busy throwing zeros on the board for the Quakers. He allowed leadoff doubles in the first and fourth innings, but worked around them successfully in his longest outing of shutout baseball in his collegiate career, and just one out shy of a career-long outing overall.

Averett’s best scoring chance would come in the seventh. Now facing Stewart, Testerman doubled to left and took third on a misplay with one out. Drew Skinner followed with a flyout to right, as Testerman broke for home, but Dark would turn them away, cutting down the runner at the plate and keeping the shutout alive.

Guilford would put five more on the board in the ninth as Marcellus took care of the final two innings and preserved the shutout victory, 16-0.

Another weekend, and another very important one for Guilford as they make the trip up to Bridgewater College for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 20 against the Eagles who stand just ahead of the Quakers in the standings. First pitch of game one will be at noon.