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A ninth-inning rally by the Campbellsville University Tigers was overshadowed with a pinch-hit, walk-off home run to lift Bellarmine University over No. 13 Campbellsville University 8-7 at Knights Field on March 28.
Campbellsville used a walk, single and walk to load the bases in the top of the ninth and then pushed two runs across on an RBI walk by Michael Durham and an RBI hit-by-pitch for March Garza.
The Tigers left nine runners on base in the game, including seven in scoring position.
In the bottom half, freshman Andy Gehr pinch-hit and homered to left off Andrew Shoemaker (3-3) to end the contest.
Campbellsville was victim of five errors which led to four unearned runs.
Campbellsville got on the board first with a three-run second inning. Brandon Johnson hit a solo homer down the left-field line before Chance Kopacz, Garza, Craig Edwards and Trent Seamons each followed with singles to load the bases and drive in the first run on Seamons’ RBI. Carlos Torres followed with a sac fly to give CU a 3-0 lead.
However, Bellarmine answered in the bottom of the second with three more.
Garza, 2-4, helped put the Tigers in front with a lead-off double in the fourth, scoring on Seamon’s ground-out.
The Knights posted a three-run fifth to take a 6-4 lead before the squads swapped runs in the seventh and eighth frames.
Edwards also had two hits for CU.
Tigers sweep West Virginia Tech in doubleheader, Beauford Sanders makes history
Side-armed slinger Phillip Gerber recorded a save and win in relief on March 25 to lead Campbellsville University to a doubleheader sweep of West Virginia University Tech 6-2 and 3-2 at Tiger Field.
The junior from Santa Clarita, Calif., struck out the only two batters he faced in game one to pitch out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam and secure CU’s win. In the second game, Gerber (2-0) struck out three of his first four batters faced, caught a line-out, chased down a runner on his way to first and pitched out of another bases-loaded situation to record a win in 2 2/3 innings of relief work.
The wins also helped notch another historic mark for Tiger head coach Beauford Sanders, who recorded his 662nd and 663rd career wins in a Campbellsville uniform. With that, Sanders passes NAIA Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Donna Wise for the most wins by a CU head coach of any sport. Wise compiled a 661-283 (.700) record through 32 seasons with the Lady Tiger basketball program. Sanders now has a 663-451 (.595) record midway through his 22nd season at CU and 931 overall career wins.
CU 6, West Va. Tech 2
Campbellsville jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second to start the day. Rylan Chin collected a one-out double and scored on an RBI ground-out by Marc Garza. Keaten Neeb later added a two-run home run, his first of the season, to get the CU offense going.
Michael McBride’s one-hit shutout was burst in the top of the third after Grant Williams reached on an error by Garza and first base and scored on an RBI single by Colton Ruley.
The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the third on a sac fly by Chance Kopacz to score Danny Lapchak and an RBI single by Craig Edwards to drive in Gibby Briones. CU’s final run came in the fourth as Tanner Nielsen scored on a sacrifice fly by Lapchak.
McBride recorded the win with 6 1/3 innings of work to improve to remain unbeaten on the season at 6-0. He gave up an earned run and unearned run off nine hits and two walks.
CU 3, West Va. Tech 2
It took two extra innings, but Campbellsville held on to sweep the twinbill.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Campbellsville sparked a two-out rally with back-to-back singles from Tanner Nielsen and Danny Lapchak. After Gibby Briones drew a walk to load the bases, Craig Edwards ripped a two-RBI single to left to even the score.
Brandon Johnson led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and was pinch ran for by Tiger pitcher Ryan Richardson. After Ryan Squires bunted Richardson to second, Neeb drove him in for the winning run with a single to center.
Tech’s first-inning run snapped an 18-scoreless inning streak by Tiger pitcher Jacob Cook.
Cook struck out five through the first two innings and set a new CU career best with eight Ks through 5 2/3 innings. He allowed one earned run off eight hits and a walk before exiting in the sixth, trailing 2-0.
Gerber took over with one out in the seventh and helped keep the Tigers’ chance alive in extra innings for the win. Neeb threw out a base runner in the seventh and eighth to aid Gerber in putting away the Golden Bears and force a ninth inning.
Edwards led Campbellsville with three hits.
CU rides power hitting, strong pitching for series sweep
Power hitting and control pitching gave Campbellsville University a boost on March 26 as the Tigers completed a four-game sweep of West Virginia Tech with another doubleheader win 13-3 and 7-0.
Campbellsville used four home runs in the two games to score seven of its runs and also collected six doubles and a triple on the day. The Tigers also took advantage of eight WVU Tech errors.
Rusty Devitt (1-0) shined for the Tigers on the mound, pitching six no-hit innings before closing the day with a two-hit shutout and 12 strikeouts. In game one, Tyler Roberts (2-1) recorded the win in five innings of work, allowing five hits and three unearned runs.
CU 13, West Va. Tech 3
After allowing an unearned run in the first inning to the Golden Bears, Campbellsville’s Danny Lapchak and Brandon Johnson gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead to start the day with a pair of home runs to the deepest part of the ballpark.
Lapchak added an RBI single in the second inning, while Michael Durham scored on an error to quickly stretch the lead to 5-0. A leadoff double by Marc Garza in the fourth set the tone for another three-run inning. Keaton Neeb doubled in Garza’s pinch runner, Aaron Schwoebel and Durham, before Gibby Briones scored Levi McCamish with a sac fly. Garza led the Tigers in the game with a 3-3 day.
Tony Rossetto drove in three runs in the bottom of the fifth with a double.
Carlos Torres and Ryan Squires added RBIs in the sixth for CU
Roberts struck out five in the win before Mason Yates and Danny Bright each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
CU 7, WVU Tech 0
In game two, Rusty Devitt made his first legit start of the season after off-season surgery and took full advantage of his comeback start.
After being held to a two-inning start in March and throwing one inning of relief last week, Devitt tossed a 12-strikeout, two-hit, complete-game shutout for the Tigers.
The Tigers used small ball to get started in the second game with a lead off double by Tanner Nielsen in the third inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Lapchak. Briones drove in CU’s first run with a sac fly to plate Nielsen.
Chance Kopcaz burst the game wide open in the fourth with a two-run home run, followed by a triple by Trent Seamons as part of a four-run inning.
Torres hit a two-run bomb in the sixth to put an exclamation point on the offensive side of the game.
Sitting at 25-6, the Tigers match their best mid-season mark since their NAIA World Series run in 2009.