CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team (24-27) sent 12 batters to the plate in its final at-bat, scoring seven runs and bringing the potential tying run to the plate but VCU (36-16) held on for the 10-7 victory in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex in Clinton, S.C.
Weston Jackson got the ninth-inning rally started with his 10th home run of the season and would finish the game 2-for-5 with a run and three RBIs. He now has 51 RBIs on the year, tied for second-most in a single season in PC’s Division I history. Tyler Weyenberg went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Brett Auckland was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
VCU starter Luke Crabb (3-0) earned the victory in his first start of the season, throwing 4.0 scoreless innings of two-hit baseball with no walks against two strikeouts. PC starter David Sauer (4-4) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits with a strikeout and a walk in 3.0 innings of work.
In the PC ninth, Jackson led off the inning with a solo home run to left center for his third home run in the last six games. PC then proceeded to load the bases with back-to-back singles by Connor Slagill and Jacob Midkiff and a walk by Colton Chapman, all with no outs. Nick Guimbarda drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to right to plate Glen Casaceli, who pinch ran for Slagill. Auckland then reached on an error by the first baseman, allowing Midkiff to score from third and Chapman to move to second.
Ryan Hedrick kept the inning going with an RBI single to score Chapman from third and put runners on the corners with one out. Weyenberg singled up the middle to score Auckland and keep two on. A fielder’s choice by Cletis Avery forced out Weyenberg at second but left runners on the corners with two outs to bring up Jackson for the second time in the inning. The senior captain delivered with a two-RBI single to center to cut the lead to 10-7. Casaceli then followed with a single to left to bring the potential tying run to plate in the form of Midkiff. He attempted to catch the defense off guard with a bunt but popped it up right to the pitcher to end the game.
Prior to the bottom of the 9th, VCU scattered 10 runs on 14 hits, scoring in six of its nine at-bats. A hit-by-pitch plated the first run of the game in the second inning, before a solo home run by Logan Farrar and a two-RBI single by Walter Haymaker put up three runs in the third. An RBI double by James Bunn tacked on a run in the fourth to make it a 5-0 game at the time.
Ethan Wortkoetter kept them off the board in the fifth and sixth innings, finishing with a line of 3.0 innings pitched, four hits and one run with five strikeouts against no walks. The Rams got it going late, though, scoring in each of its final three at-bats. A wild pitch allowed Cody Acker to reach after a strikeout and he would eventually score on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. In the eighth, an RBI single by Matt Davis plated one run, before a fielding error by the shortstop plated a second run. Finally, in the ninth, a two-run home run by Darius Carpenter push the lead to 10-0 before the furious PC comeback.
Carpenter led the way for the Rams, going 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs. Jimmy Kerrigan was 3-for-6 with two runs and Bunn also had a three-hit day with a run and an RBI. Matt Jamer was strong in relief of Crabb on the mound, going 3.2 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit with no walks against three strikeouts.
PC will wrap up the regular season this week with four home games. The Blue Hose conclude the season series with USC Upstate on Tuesday at 3 p.m. They will then host Charleston Southern in a decisive, three-game conference series at the PC Baseball Complex beginning on Thursday.