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Eagles Drop Opener To Neumann, 9-4

Jacob Grabeel runs to first base for the Eagles.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Bridgewater opened its baseball season Saturday afternoon with a 9-4 loss to Neumann University in a game played at Methodist University.

The Eagles struck first with a run in the top of the third inning. With two outs and no one on base, Jacob Grabeel doubled down the left-field line. Jacob Talley and Ryan Skadra both walked to load the bases. Brett Jones was then hit by a pitch to force home the first run of the game.

The lead didn't last long as Neumann responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third. With two outs and the bases empty, Danny Padilla was hit by a pitch. Zach Ray singled and Joe Nepi walked to load the bases. Curt Yenchik then cleared the sacks with a double to left, giving the Knights a 3-1 lead.

Bridgewater tied the score with two runs in the top of the fourth. JT Creed reached base on a one-out error and Kevin Navedo singled through the left side of the infield. The Knights then went to the bullpen and a wild pitch from Jared Morris moved the runners into scoring position. Garrison Wright delivered a single to left, scoring both runners to tie the score at 3-3.

Once again, the Knights responded in the bottom half of the inning, this time with four runs to take a 7-3 lead.

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. John Lindeborn plated a run with a sacrifice fly to put the Knights ahead 4-3 and Padilla, Nepi and Yenchik each produced a run-scoring single to increase the lead to 7-3.

Bridgewater scored its final run in the top of the eighth when Luke Paczewski doubled and then scored on a triple by Brett Tharpe

Grabeel led the Eagles with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate and Paczewski finished 2-for-4.

The Eagles used four pitchers in the contest with senior Kyle Hasforth having the best outing. Hasforth pitched three innings in relief and allowed no hits while striking out four batters.