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Eagles Open Season By Sweeping N.C. Wesleyan

Eagles Open Season By Sweeping N.C. Wesleyan

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College opened its 2012 baseball season in impressive fashion Sunday afternoon as the Eagles swept a doubleheader from N.C. Wesleyan. The Eagles won the opener 8-4 and then hammered the Bishops in the second game, 17-1.

In the opener, the Eagles used a strong relief effort from sophomore Dillon Via and the offense executed the small ball game and manufactured enough runs to claim the win.

Bridgewater scored two runs in the top of the first Bryan Sanderson singled and stole second. With one out, Jonathan Mason walked and Sanderson moved to third on a wild pitch. Mason then stole second and Sanderson scored on an errant throw by the catcher for the Eagles' first run. With two outs, freshman Derek Walling singled to plate Mason for a 2-0 BC lead.

N.C. Wesleyan tied the score in the bottom of the first with two runs off Bridgewater starter Joseph Lucas, but the Eagles regained the lead in the top of the second. Christian Armstrong was hit by a pitch and Darren Yoder bunted for a base hit. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Sanderson and Armstrong scored on a passed ball for a 3-2 BC lead.

The Eagles padded the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth.

Snow led off the fourth with a single and Mason walked. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Jay Thompson and Snow scored on a Andrew Hacker's groundout.

In the fifth the Eagles loaded the sacks when Armstrong and Yoder were hit by pitches and Sanderson walked. Armstrong scored on a sac fly by Snow, making the score 3-2.

The Bishops chased Lucas with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Eagles pulled away with single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Alex Nuttycombe doubled to lead off the seventh and Armstrong singled to put runners at the corners. Nuttycombe scored on a passed ball for a 6-4 Eagles lead.

In the eighth, Thompson tripled and scored when the throw back to infield got away, giving the Eagles a 7-4 lead.

Bridgewater added its final run in the ninth when Yoder walked, stole second and moved to third on Sanderson's bunt single. Yoder scored on a squeeze bunt by Snow for the final 8-4 margin.

Via worked the final 4.1 innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter.

The second game was all Bridgewater. The offense pounded out 17 hits and starter Robert Gallet and two relief pitchers combined to scatter eight hits.

The Eagles took the lead with four runs in the second. With the bases full, Yoder tripled to left center to put BC on top 3-0. Yoder scored on a groundout by Snow to make it 4-0.

The Eagles broke the game open with three runs in the fourth and seven more in the fifth.

Sanderson singled with one out in the fourth and scored on Snow's double to make the score 5-0. Snow scored on Jay Thompson's double and Thompson scored on a single by Hacker to make it 7-0.

Snow singled home two more runs in the fifth and Hacker added a run-scoring singled as the lead increased to 14-0.

Gallet worked six innings to pick up the win. The sophomore righthander allowed one run on six hits. He struck out six and walked three. Kyle Henshaw pitched a scoreless seventh and Tyler Conley finished with two innings of scoreless relief.

The Eagles open their home schedule Tuesday afternoon when they host Ferrum College.