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Baseball Splits Doubleheader, but Takes Weekend Series From Army
Updated: Thursday 02/16/2014 (ET)
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The William and Mary baseball team earned the weekend series victory after spliting a doubleheader with Army at Plumeri Park on Sunday afternoon. The Tribe fell in game one 4-2, before winning 7-6 in dramatic fashion in game two. With the results the Tribe improved to 2-1 on the season, while Army’s record is 1-2.

For the day, junior Nick Thompson led the Tribe offense, collecting six (6-for-9) hits on two doubles, a home run, and an RBI. Classmate Michael Katz finished the day 3-for-8 with two homers, and three runs driven, while senior Willie Shaw also finished 3-for-8. 

In game one, William and Mary got out to an early 1-0 advantage with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. With one retired, senior Kevin Nutter sparked the rally with a double. After an out, senior Ryan Lindemuth put a ball in play that was mishandled by a Black Knight defender, allowing Nutter to score.

Army took advantage of four unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 4-1 advantage. With one out, Harold Earls and Patrick Mescher each reached, and got to second and third after a W&M error. Back-to-back two out walks allowed Army to tie the game at 1-1. The next batter, Daniel Cortes roped a single into left field, bring home two runs. The final run was scored when Cortes was caught in a run down between first and second, which allowed Alex Jensen to score.

The Tribe didn’t go away quietly, and added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Back-to-back singles from Nutter and Thompson put runners on the corners with one out. Lindemuth then sent a towering shot to center that was caught, but was deep enough to score Nutter on a sacrifice fly. The run cut the lead to 4-2, which was the final score.

Senior John Sheehan, who didn’t give up an earned run, was saddled with the loss. Sheehan, who went 5.2 innings without allowing a hit, threw 6.2 innings, allowed three hits, and recorded three strikeouts. Nick Dignacco earned his first win of the season, while Alex Robbinett picked up the save for Army.

In game two, the script was reversed. Army opened the top of the first inning with a pair of runs to take an early 2-0 advantage. Jon Crucitti was hit by a pitch to open the game, and advanced to third on a single by Earls. After an out, Mark McCants singled, bringing home Crucitti. Earls came around to score on an RBI groundout by Jacob Page.

William and Mary was able to scratch across a run in the home half of the first inning.  With one out, Thompson doubled to center, putting himself in scoring position. Lindemuth wasted little time and followed with a single, plating Thompson and cutting the Army lead to 2-1.

The Black Knights added another run in the top of the third inning. Mescher started the rally with a two-out single. The next batter, McCants doubled to right field, scoring Mescher from first, and pushing Army’s lead to 3-1.

Army added three more runs in the top of fourth inning, extending its lead to 6-1. With runners on first and second, a passed ball allowed them to each move up 90 feet. Earls followed with a single, brining home both runners. A double from the next batter, McCants, accounted for the final run of the game for Army.

William and Mary chipped away at the Black Knights’ lead, and started its comeback with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Katz connected on his first home run of the day over the right field fence.

The Tribe batted around in the bottom of the sixth inning, to bring the score to 6-5. Thompson started the inning with a solo home run to left field, bringing the score to 6-3. With two outs, the Tribe had the bases loaded, and freshman Tim Hoehn brought home one run on an infield single. The College scored the final run of the inning on an error by Army.

After failing to score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the eighth, William and Mary brought out the fireworks in the bottom of the ninth. A single from Thompson started the inning, moving to second after a sacrifice bunt by Lindemuth. Katz, who was up next, belted the first pitch he saw over the left field wall lifting the Tribe to a 7-6 walk off victory.

Sophomore starting pitcher Mitchell Aker didn’t factor in the decision, but threw four innings and had two strikeouts. Freshman Nick Brown, who made his collegiate debut, allowed just three hits over four innings. Senior Kevin Casey, who registered his first win with W&M, threw the ninth allowing a hit and striking out a batter.

William and Mary hits the road for its next four games. The Tribe plays at preseason No. 1 Virginia on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m., before heading to High Point for a weekend series.

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