Longwood baseball rides massive rally Friday to beat Iona 15-8

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Willie Havens sparked a massive eighth inning rally, and Longwood baseball won the opening game of a three-game series 15-8 over Iona on a soggy Friday night at Buddy Bolding Stadium.

Havens started the game-deciding, 11-run eighth with a solo home run. Noah Campanelli added the game-tying single, and Tanner Thomas drew a bases loaded walk to put Longwood (4-1) ahead for good.


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Willie Havens: 3-4, 2 2B, 1HR, 4R, 2RBI, 2W

Guillermo Garcia Jr.: 3.0IP, 8SO, 1ER

Noah Campanelli: 3-5, 3RBI,1BB, 1 3B

Breaking down the game

Toughness. That is the word that comes to mind when talking about the Lancers, on this cold foggy night. 

Guillermo Garcia Jr. got the ball to start the game, which saw a pitching duel for the first four innings. Garcia struck out 8 in his 3.0 innings of work, but Iona (0-4) took an early lead thanks to a couple of timely hits.

After five complete innings the Lancers sat in a 3-1 deficit. They scratched 3 in the bottom of the 6th inning thanks to a plethora of walks, and Drew Camp gave Longwood its first lead of the night with a sacrifice fly, 4-3.

Iona battled back in the top of the seventh, scratching three runs across to take a 6-4 lead behind an RBI base knock from Jim Pasquale. 

Then, the Lancers busted down the door in the eighth. Down 6-4, Havens hit a towering 395 foot homerun into the right center field trees to cut the lead to 1.Two batters later, Campanelli hit an RBI single into right field to knot the score at six all. Longwood kept going and loaded the bases, and Thomas drew a two-out walk with a gritty nine-pitch at bat to plate the go-ahead run. Four more walks followed, and Longwood batted around en route to 11 runs in the inning and a 15-6 lead.

“Our guys kept fighting tonight, kept fighting and were able to get into their bullpen,” said Longwood Head Coach Chad Oxendine. “They kept grinding out at bats. We were able to take some advantage of some walks. It was very, very good to see us battle through some early strikeouts.”

“Willie is playing well right now,” Oxendine said about how Havens has gotten off to a strong start in 2024. “He is an older guy with a lot of experience. What he is doing right now is what we expect out of him. We are very excited to have Willie here, and obviously just hope he can keep up what he’s doing right now.”

Some game notes for Longwood baseball 

Willie Havens has a hit in all 5 games this season. 

Noah Campanelli stays hot with 3 hits in today’s game. He has two straight games with 3 hits. 

Guilermo Garcia struck out 8 of the 13 batters he faced. 

Longwood drew 13 free passes on the day. 

Longwood scored at least 10 runs in an inning for the second time this year when they scored 11 in the eighth. The season high came on opening day when the team scored 13 runs in the first inning against Siena.


Game two of the series has been moved up to noon on Saturday afternoon to deal with more inclement weather.