FERRUM – Reigning Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) champion Shenandoah University swept Ferrum College 2-1 and 8-6 in a league baseball doubleheader Saturday at W.B. Adams Field.
The twinbill is the last regular-season one at home for the Panthers (10-6 in the ODAC, 19-13 overall), who have two conference doubleheaders on the road (at Randolph-Macon College, at Hampden-Sydney College) and single conference home games against Emory & Henry College and Roanoke College remaining.
The top eight teams qualify for the ODAC’s two-tiered postseason tournament. The top four teams host the bottom four squads in best of three games series on the first weekend with the winners of those sets advancing to the double-elimination portion of the tournament at Salem Memorial Ballpark the following week.
Shenandoah (9-7 in the ODAC, 18-9 overall) was able to spoil Ferrum’s Senior Day with the sweep.
Prior to first game, seniors Nathaniel Anthony, Noah Collins, Jake Martin, Joey Pride, Brandon Roberts and Braxton Wheeler (Franklin County) were honored.
In the first game, the Hornets scored one run in the top of the first and one run in the top of the fifth. The Panthers tallied their lone run in the bottom of the eighth.
Each team collected seven hits, but Shenandoah played mistake-free defense, while Ferrum committed two errors.
In the eighth, Grey Sherfey singled, came to third on a base hit by Connor Dopp and scored on a ground out by Anthony.
Anthony was 2 of 4 with an RBI, Josh Greenway was 2 of 4 and Christian Campbell belted a double.
Carlton Redd (2-2) was charged with the loss. He permitted six hits and an earned run, while striking out two in seven innings.
For Shenandoah, Robert Marcelle and Grant Thompson (double) each was 2 of 4. Also, Frankie Ritter and Tristan Baker smacked doubles.
Robert Klinchock (4-3) worked 7 2/3 innings for the victory. He yielded six hits and an earned run, while striking out nine.
In the second game, the Hornets scored two runs each in the top of the first, fifth, seventh and ninth frames.
Ferrum squared the count in the bottom of the second and took its only lead, 3-2, by manufacturing a run in the last of the third.
The Panthers tied the score at 4 by tallying a run in the bottom of the sixth and equaled the score at 6 after generating single runs in the seventh and the eighth.
The Hornets outhit the Panthers, 14-10, and overcame two errors in their victory. The Panthers committed one error.
A Campbell sacrifice fly and a Sherfey run-scoring single produced Ferrum’s two runs in the second. A Tim Ortega RBI single in the third put the Panthers in front by a run.
A second lead change was the result when Luke Nussman belted a two-run home run off of Pride, Ferrum’s starting pitcher.
Then, the Panthers manufactured the equalizer when Sherfey doubled and scored on a double by Dopp.
Shenandoah broke the 4-4 stalemate in the seventh, but Ferrum got a run back in the bottom of the frame to make the count 6-5 when Kyle Anstice smacked a solo home run.
In the eighth, Ferrum forced the game’s third tie when Drew Calohan sprinted home from third when Shenandoah’s catcher committed a throwing error when he tried to relay the ball back to his pitcher.
In the ninth, Keegan Woolford belted what proved be a game-winning two-run home run off Panthers closer Will Davis, a freshman righthander.
Ferrum advanced runners to third and first and brought the potential game-winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but the Panthers’ rally died with a game-ending, fielder’s choice ground out.
Nussman paced the Hornets by going 4 of 5 with a double, a home run, three runs and two RBI.
Woolford was 3 of 5 with a run and six RBIs.
Michael Robst (2-1) pitched the eighth inning for the victory.
Gerard DePhillips, the Hornets closer, earned his ninth save in game one and his 10th in game two.
For Ferrum, Anstice, the Panthers’ home run leader, was 2 of 5 with a run and an RBI, Calohan was 2 of 4 with two runs and Sherfey was 2 of 4.
Davis (2-2) surrendered three hits and two earned runs in two innings of work. He struck out one.
Ferrum returns to action today against Emory & Henry. The contest begins at 3 p.m. at Adams Field.