Bridgewater sweeps Messiah
The Eagles, winners of five straight, improve to 7-1 while the Falcons drop to 0-3.
Messiah, the 2011 Commonwealth Conference champion, jumped on Bridgewater starter Joseph Lucas for five runs in the third in the opener.
John Brubaker doubled home the Falcons’ first run and Wes Hollenbach followed with a two-run single for an early 3-0 lead. Ryan Brown followed Hollenbach’s hit with a long homer to dead center, giving Messiah a 5-0 lead.
Bridgewater answered in the bottom half of the inning with seven runs. With one out Derrik Walling and Darren Yoder singled before Devon Snow doubled down the left-field line to score Walling with BC’s first run. Bryan Sanderson then singled to left to plate two runs to pull the Eagles to within two, 5-3. After Jay Thompson singled, Andrew Hacker and Jonathan Mason following with run-scoring singles to tie the score. Alex Nuttycombe then added a single to give the Eagles a 6-5 lead. A walk to Cam Stevenson loaded the bases before Walling lofted a sacrifice fly to center, making the score 7-5.
The Falcons responded with three runs in the fourth off reliever John Bayse to regain the lead. Hollenbach, Brown and Derek Drake delivered run-scoring hits to put Messiah back on top.
Bridgewater regained the upper hand with three runs in the sixth. With two outs, Snow singled, stole second and took third when the catcher’s throw to second sailed into center field. Sanderson then doubled to rightcenter to score Snow with the tying run. Sanderson scored on an error and Mason doubled home a run to give the Eagles a 10-8 lead.
Bayse pitched a scoreless seventh and Tyler Slanovec fanned two in a 1-2-3 eighth to preserve the lead.
Hollenbach greeted BC reliever Kyle Henshaw with a homer to lead off the ninth and Brown followed with a single to right to put the tying run on. Brown moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Henshaw retired the next two batters on a soft liner to center and a grounder to third to preserve the 10-9 win.
Snow was 4-for-4 in Game 1 while Sanderson was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Hacker and Mason each added a pair of hits for the Eagles.
Bridgewater jumped out to an early lead in Game 2 with three runs in the bottom of the second. Hacker walked with one out and Mason followed with a double. Alex Nuttycombe then ripped a single up the middle, but the ball hit the umpire’s pants leg on the way through, resulting in dead ball that in turn kept the runners from advancing. With the bases loaded and two outs, Walling lined a bases-clearing double to the opposite field to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
The scored remained 3-0 until the seventh when the Eagles broke the game open. A single by Nuttycombe and a pair of walks loaded the bases and Sanderson unloaded them with a grand-slam homer to left, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Bridgewater starter Robert Gallet pitched seven scoreless innings before losing the shutout in the eight when the Falcons plated two runs. Gallet, now 3-0 on the season, allowed two earned runs on eight hits in eight innings of work. He struck out five and walked two.
Nuttycombe was the lone Eagle with multiple hits in the second game as he finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Bridgewater returns to action Sunday afternoon when the Eagles host Juniata College. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m.