Hampden-Sydney baseball struggles in home opener

Published 2:47 am Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Junior team captain Christian Lancaster had two hits and two RBIs, but Hampden-Sydney baseball dropped a 12-7 home-opening and non-conference decision to North Carolina Wesleyan University on Wednesday afternoon. 

Playing at Ty Cobb Ballpark, sophomore Jacob Miller-Bopp took the pitching setback for the host Tigers (0-3) against the visiting Battling Bishops (4-2) in a contest shortened to seven innings due to darkness.

Hampden-Sydney scored seven runs on seven hits with three errors … scoring five runs in the first inning, and one run each in the second and sixth innings. NCWU, receiving votes in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Preseason Top 25, scored 12 runs on 11 hits with no errors … scoring three runs in the first inning, two runs in the second, five runs in the fourth, and two runs in the fifth inning.

Breaking down the game

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In the first, junior (2-5), classmate Jaxon Masterson (1-4) and Arnold (2-4) each singled to load the bases with no outs. Harris scored when Lancaster (2-2, 2 RBIs) was hit by a pitch, Masterson scored via a wild pitch and Arnold scored on a ground ball double play. Senior Lucas Burnette (RBI) and junior Christian Chambers each drew walks to load the bases again, and Lancaster then scored when senior team captain Trent Jones (RBI) was hit by a pitch … and Burnette scored on another wild pitch for the early 5-3 advantage.

In the second, Lancaster reached on a two-out single and advanced around to third when freshman Jase Howell and senior Tillman Butler each walked, and scored when Burnette was hit by a pitch for a 6-5 lead.

In the sixth, Arnold led off with a triple to the gap in right center field and scored when Lancaster followed with a run-scoring single to center field to provide for the final 12-7 margin.

Miller-Bopp (0-1) started and pitched the first 3.1 innings for the Tigers, allowing eight hits and nine runs, six earned, with no strikeouts and no walks. Senior Ryan Portes tossed two-thirds of an inning, yielding two hits and one run, earned, with no strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Colton Harris pitched 1.0 inning, allowing one hit and two runs, both earned, with one strikeout and one walk. Classmate Alex Fitz-Hugh tossed the final 2.0 scoreless innings, yielding no hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Next for Hampden-Sydney baseball 

Hampden-Sydney will remain home for three games this weekend, February 23-25, beginning with Bates (ME) College on Friday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. … and then St. Mary’s (MD) College on Sunday, Feb. 25, for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.