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Tigers down CNU, 5-2

Hampden-Sydney College baseball handed Christopher Newport its first loss on the year, defeating the Captains 5-2 behind strong pitching. With the win, the Tigers improve to 8-4 on the season while CNU drops to 8-1.

Freshman Jimmy Butler (Roanoke/Patrick Henry) picked up the win after allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in six innings. Matthew Metheny (New Kent/New Kent) and Dylan Gonzales (Richmond/J.R. Tucker) each threw a shutout inning in relief, and Zach Perkins (Appomattox/Appomattox) picked up the save after getting the final three outs of the game.

The Tigers struck first, with Jacob Fontana (Midlothian/Clover Hill) reaching on a fielder’s choice and advancing on a stolen base and then passed ball before being driving in by Lee Carneal (Charlottesville/Albemarle).

Back-to-back doubles from Jack Elliott (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and Moe Gothe (Chester/Thomas Dale) to start the second upped the lead to 2-0.

A solo homerun from A.J. Nicely put the Captains on the board in the top of the third.

The Tigers nearly got another across the plate in the bottom of the fifth, with Brian Goodwyn (Chester/Thomas Dale) advancing to second on a balk and rounding the bases on an errant throw by the Captains. A heads up play from the defense, however, led to Goodwyn being thrown out at the plate.

Christopher Newport then tied the game in the sixth with a two-out single from Tommy Vitaletti driving in Austin Henry.

Hampden-Sydney responded in the bottom of the frame with Fontana leading off with a walk followed by back-to-back singles by Carneal and Reggie Johnson (Dunnsville, VA/Essex) to load the bases. Elliot used a sacrifice fly to break the tie and drive in Carneal. Gothe then gave the Tigers some insurance, driving in Johnson while Blevins crossed the plate on an error by the first baseman to go up 5-2.

Both pitching staffs were solid the remainder of the game with neither team crossing the plate.

The Tigers out hit CNU nine to four, with Carneal and Gothe each recording two hits.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, March 5 as the Tigers travel to Emory, VA to square off in a double header against Emory & Henry. First pitch is slated for 12:00 PM.