Longwood uses big sixth inning to defeat Radford, even up weekend series
Longwood used a big sixth inning inning to even the weekend series with Radford at one game apiece and continue to control their own destiny for the Big South playoffs. The win marks Longwood’s first 20-win season since 2016 when the club won 32.
Longwood was led offensively by Hayden Harris who reached base four times which included three hits and a run tallied as well. The team as a whole recorded 11 hits and seven walks.
“We were locked in today with a refuse to lose attitude,” commented head coach Chad Oxendine on his team’s mentality entering today’s game. “Every game is important now and we must continue to fight and we must continue to have a high level of focus.”
The Lancers (20-29, 10-10) scored first in the first inning and tallied a couple more in the second. Hunter Gilliam and Michael Peterson scored in the first from a Michael Dolberry double to deep left and an Eliot Dix single scored Gregory Ryan in the second to cap off the early scoring.
Radford (14-31, 7-13) scored one in both the first two frames to limit the Longwood lead to two. Bradlee Preap grounded out to third to bring home Cameron Pittman in the first and a David Bryant single in the second scored Ryan Gilmore.
The Highlanders added another run in the fourth through another another Bryant single that brought home Adam Morris and cut the Longwood lead down to one.
Longwood went on to explode for a five-spot in the sixth inning to extend their lead to six runs. Gilliam singled home Hayden Harris to start the rally and Keondre Shelton singled home two more. Ryan grounded out to the pitcher but scored Dolberry to cap off the inning.
The Lancers added an insurance run in the ninth through a sacrifice fly from Michael Peterson scored Grant Melnyk from third.
Radford scored three runs in the top of the ninth to try and mount a comeback. Hits from Ryan Gilmore, Bryant and Bradlee Preap led to three runs and hoped to spark a comeback but the lead proved to be too much.
Kevin Warunek (4-3) started for Longwood and pitched five innings. The freshman allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out one on his way to picking up his first win since March 26th. Dominick D’Ercole was near flawless in four innings. D’Ercole picked up his first career save after allowing three runs and five hits.
Zach Davidson (1-5) got the nod to start for Radford and allowed two earned runs in one and a third innings of work while he picked up his fifth loss of the season. The Highlanders used six relief pitchers in relief. The bullpen gave up five earned runs on six hits in 7.2 innings.
Longwood and Radford wrap up their series tomorrow at 1 p.m.