The Tribe was three deep into extra innings of its first game of a Saturday doubleheader as junior catcher Hunter Smith stepped up to bat. High Point (5-5) had already tallied one run in the top of the twelfth; William and Mary (2-9) was now in the bottom of the inning, down by one at 3-2 with two outs and the bases loaded. It was do or die for the Tribe, which was coming off of a four-game losing streak and desperate for a win after being swept in both of their weekend series so far this season.
Smith faced down High Point pitcher Rion Murrah and caused an error by the Panthers, sending College junior infielder Zach Pearson and freshman infielder Matt McDermott sprinting past home to bring the score to 4-3 and close out the game to take the first of the weekend series.
The Tribe both STARTED AND ENDED scoring in their first match of Saturday.
The Tribe both started and ended scoring in their first match of Saturday. Zach Pearson and senior outfielder Ryan Hall tallied a run each in the bottom of the fourth inning to claim a lead of 2-0. High Point answered back in the top of the 8th, however, as the Panthers scored twice on a throwing error to tie the game at 2-2.
At the top of the 9th, sophomore pitcher Wade Strain came in to close the game out for the Tribe, pitching a solid four innings in which he allowed only two hits and a single run. He’ll record the win for the Tribe, bringing his season record to 1-1.
The twelve-inning thriller marked the second game in a row where the Tribe went into extra innings. It went into eleven during its Wednesday loss to Virginia in a wild no-hitter from the Cavaliers’ pitcher. But the College wasn’t done for the day after this first victory against High Point, and less than an hour after the first three-and-a-half hour battle, the team returned to the field for the second match of the doubleheader.
Although the Tribe opened scoring in its first match of the day, it struggled to find offense in the second. High Point was first on the board with four runs in the first two innings. They continued to pile on offense as the game wore on, scoring one more each in the fifth and sixth to get the score to 6-0 before the Tribe ever managed to get on the board.
The College finally scored one in the bottom of the sixth, with Smith getting to home on a walk from junior outfielder Owen Socher and cutting the Panthers’ lead to 6-1. But five points back was as close as the Tribe would ever get to tying the game, as High Point immediately answered back with a crushing six runs in the next inning to extend their lead to 12-1 at the top of the seventh. The Panthers were looking to put even more runs past the home team, but the College managed to shut them down with two runners still left on base.
After the Tribe managed to hold High Point to no hits in the top of the eighth, it put some runs on the board as Hall and freshman infielder David Hogarth scored to cut the Panthers’ lead to 12-3. But the College comeback wasn’t to be anywhere near enough, as the Panthers put up five runs in the final inning to rack up the final score to 17-3 in a blowout loss for the Tribe.
the College’s resilient 4-3 victory earlier in the day means that it will head into Sunday tied at 1-1.
Despite losing by 14 runs in the second game of the doubleheader, the College’s resilient 4-3 victory earlier in the day means that it will head into the last game of the set tied at 1-1. The Tribe will be looking to win their first series of the season with a Sunday victory as the weekend wraps up at Plumeri Park.