Lancers Take Down North Carolina A&T
Published 10:55 am Thursday, March 19, 2015
GREENSBORO, NC —Longwood's center fielder Colton Konvicka is usually known for his burning speed, but on Wednesday night, it was the junior's big bat which stole the limelight as he crushed a pair of doubles and his third career home run to catapult the Lancers baseball team to a 10-5 victory over North Carolina A&T at War Memorial Stadium.
A day after producing a season-best 13 runs on 13 hits, Longwood (8-11) continued its surge at the plate by knocking a new season-high 15 hits. The blue and white also launched six extra-base hits, three of which were doubles, a pair of triples and the solo shot from Konvicka. Longwood's leadoff man led the way with his three-hit, three-RBI night, but had substantial help from several others including Travis Biddix and Brandon Harvell. Starting at catcher Wednesday, Biddix finished with a stellar 3-for-6 day and added a pair of RBI while Harvell went 3-for-5 with two runs scored out of the nine-hole. With the bats pounding the ball all over the yard, the Lancer pitchers took control. Allen Ellis (1-0) dealt 2 2/3 shutout innings, striking out an incredible seven of the eight batters he faced while not allowing a single batter to reach. The seven punchouts set a career-high for the junior right-hander in extraordinary fashion.
The blue and white forced the issue on the base paths as well, swiping a season-best seven bags. Six different Lancers stole a base while Biddix nabbed a pair to bring his season total to four.
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For the second consecutive day, Longwood had to come back from an early deficit as North Carolina A&T (2-14) struck twice in the bottom of the first off of Lancer starter Devin Gould. The Aggies used a pair of singles, a wild pitch and a triple to take the early lead, but Longwood answered right back. The Lancers scored three runs, all with two outs, in the top half of the second to take their first lead of the game. As the script would run all night long, the bottom of the order set the table for the top to clean up with C.J. Roth starting the rally on a four-pitch walk. Harvell followed with his first of three singles before the lineup rolled over to Konvicka who promptly drove home the pair with a double to right center. The Lancers took the lead a batter later as Biddix singled to left, plating Konvicka from second.
After Longwood added a run in the top of the fourth off an RBI-single from Brandon Delk, A&T responded with another pair of runs to knot the game at 4-4 with just one out in the inning. Enter Allen Ellis and exit the Aggie offense.
Ellis induced a lineout for the second out of the frame before going on an absolutely spectacular tear. The 6-3 right-hander turned out the lights, fanning the next seven batters he faced including striking out the side in the fifth and sixth innings, to set a new career-high for strikeouts. Ellis' absurd outing set a new tone in the game and Longwood wrest control with four runs in the top half of the seventh. The seventh inning outbreak came after Biddix gave Longwood the lead for good with another RBI single in the top of the sixth. With one out in the seventh, Michael Osinski roped his first career triple to center field, lighting off the four-run inning. Roth, who had been scuffling in the past seven games, doubled his way back into the hit column and drove in a pair of runs to go along side. The second baseman would score on an RBI-groundout from Harvell before Konvicka capped off the big inning by sending a 1-2 pitch sailing over the left field wall for a 9-4 lead. The Lancers would add another insurance run in the ninth when freshman Sammy Miller, who pinch ran for Alex Lewis in the seventh, smashed a leadoff triple to right center. After his first career triple, Miller raced home on a squeeze play as Roth laid down the sacrifice bunt.
A combination of Travis Burnette, Garrett Paul and Chase McPherson would combine to close out the Lancers' second win in as many days. Burnette tossed a scoreless seventh, working around a two-out single, before turning the ball over to Paul. The sophomore quickly recorded two ground outs before an eight-pitch walk ended his day. McPherson came on and allowed a single before ending the eighth with a strikeout. Longwood and Charleston Southern are scheduled to play Friday through Sunday in Farmville with the opener slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch.