CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team opened the 2018 season with a victory, topping La Salle, 7-3, on Opening Day at the PC Baseball Complex in Clinton, S.C. Saturday’s doubleheader has been moved up to a 9 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather.
How It Happened
PC got on the board in its first at-bat of the season. Nick Guimbarda led off the PC half of the first with a single to right field and Jonathan White put him in scoring position with sacrifice bunt. Guimbarda advanced to third on a wild pitch and Nick Wise got him home with an RBI groundout to first to give PC a 1-0 lead.
La Salle answered in the top half of the second. Chase Arnold homered in his first at-bat of the year, a solo shot to left, to tie the game at 1-1.
The Blue Hose extended their lead with two runs in the third. Tanner Byrd led off the inning with a single to right but a flyout and a lineout made two outs. Wise, after a dropped foul ball, tripled to right to plate Byrd from first. Jack McLaughlin then singled through the right side to bring home Wise and make it 3-1 PC.
PC broke the game wide open with a four-run fifth inning. White got it started with a one-out walk and Wise then doubled down the left field line to score him and make it 4-1. McLaughlin then walked to put two aboard, before a strikeout made it two outs and two on. Connor Slagill then doubled inside the bag at third to bring in Wise and put two in to scoring position. Michael Varga then singled to left center for his first hit at PC, scoring both McLaughlin and Slagill to push the advantage to 7-1.
La Salle tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. An error and a single by Ryan Guckin put runners at the corners with no outs. A sac fly by Arnold brought home the first run to make it a 7-2 game. After a PC pitching change, Connor Hinchcliffe singled to put two on before a flyout to center for the second out. A wild pitched allowed both runners to move up ninety foot, followed by a walk to load the bases. Austin Constantini was then hit by a pitch to score Guckin from third but a fly out to left ended the inning to keep it a 7-3 game.
The PC bullpen did the job from there, as Ryan Hall and Will Smith each tossed a perfect inning in relief with neither allowing a hit and each recording a pair of strikeouts to close it out for the 7-3 win.
Pitchers of Record
Eric Miles (1-0) earned the win for PC, tossing 6.1 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on just four hits with three strikeouts against no walks in the season opener. The sophomore faced just two batters above the minimum over the first four innings and did not allow more than one base runner in an inning until the seventh.
Matt Holt (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits with five strikeouts against one walk.
Player of the Game
Nick Wise got off to a red hot start to open the season, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs and three RBIs. The senior outfielder finished a homer shy of the cycle, coming up with an RBI triple in the third, an RBI double in the fifth and a single in the seventh. His only at-bat without a hit came in the first in the form of an RBI groundout to plate PC’s first run of the season.
- PC’s 7-3 win on Opening Day is its first in a season opener since 2015, a 13-6 victory over Delaware State at the PC Baseball Complex.
- Seven of the nine batters in the PC lineup collected a hit on Opening Day. On the mound, PC relief pitchers allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings of work.
- Austin Paradis, Michael Varga and Michael White each made their PC debuts in the season opener. Varga got the start at catcher, going 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while White got the start at second base, going 0-for-2 with a walk, a sac bunt and a run scored.
- Nick Guimbarda finished 2017 on a nine-game hitting streak and extended it 10 games with a 1-for-4 day at the plate in today’s game. Guimbarda recorded PC’s first hit of the season and went on to score the team’s first run of the year as well.
The series continues tomorrow with a doubleheader, which is now scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather.