HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. – The W baseball team took on Rust College in a doubleheader on Tuesday at the Rust College Baseball Field. A midgame comeback for the Bearcats took game one from the Owls 5-4 but The W recovered in game two for a 6-3 victory. With the doubleheader behind it, The W moves to 16-7 on the season and look to rise in the Week 3 USCAA Coaches Poll.
GAME ONE (L, 5-4)
The first game of the doubleheader pitted The W righty RJ Dell (5-1) against the Bearcats Robert McDaniel.
Dell cruised in the first inning but his counterpart McDaniel was unable to prevent the Owls from scoring. After a single by W infielder Brandon Jones and an error by the Rust catcher, Leroy "Trey" Petite broke the seal on the game to score the Owls first run.
The second inning went by scoreless, but The W was able to bring in two more runs in the top of the third.
Jones connected again with the ball for a double to right center for an RBI and Reese Wagner followed with a single up the middle to bring Jones in.
In the bottom of the inning, the Bearcats was able to cut the Owls lead to 3-2 with runs scored on home run and a fielder's choice.
Rust tied The W and eventually took the lead in the fourth. Nicholas Durrah singled to left center for an RBI and then scored on an error in the Owls right field. The Bearcats then scored its fifth and final run on a single to left field by Rust outfielder Claude Hayes, III.
The Owls attempted to stay in the game in the sixth with a run scored on an error by the second baseman but it was not enough to put The W back on top.
Receiving his first loss on the mound this season, Dell pitched 4.0 innings for one strikeout, three earned runs, and seven hits against.
Luke Hobson entered the game in relief to pitched 2.0 innings for one strikeout.
At the plate, Jones led the Owls with a 2-for-4 appearance for one RBI and one run.
For his second mound victory of the season, Peters pitched the entire seven innings for five strikeouts, six hits against, and three earned runs.
The Owls dominated offensively for most of the game with runs scored in the first, third, and fifth inning while holding the Bearcats nil on the board.
In the first inning, Petite scored the first run of the game on a throwing error by Rust's catcher.
He also collected the second run in the third on a double to left center by Owls power hitter Damain Benefield.
In the sixth, Petite extended the Owls lead to 5-0 with a sacrifice fly to give The W a nice cushion as the end of the game neared.
In the bottom of the inning, Rust scored three runs with one run on a sacrifice fly and two runs on another home run.
The Owls put a stamped on their victory in the seventh with Brandon Neal grabbing an RBI on a sacrifice fly that sent Cox across home plate.
At the plate, Benefield and Cox both had 2-for-3 appearances for an RBI. Cox also added one run.
Leading the Owls in scoring, Heath Ford and Petite scored two runs during the effort.