VIRGINIA BEACH — No. 4 seed Virginia Wesleyan University rallied for six runs in the fourth inning Saturday to enhance a one-run lead and complete a series sweep of No. 5 seed Ferrum College in the 2019 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) baseball tournament.
The Marlins, a year removed from competing in the NCAA Division III baseball tournament, won Friday’s series opener, 2-0.
With the sweep, Virginia Wesleyan advances to the double-elimination championship round of the tournament at Salem Memorial Ballpark this weekend.
Ferrum’s season and its inaugural campaign in the ODAC ends with Saturday’s setback.
The Panthers (22-18), who were 1-3 against the Marlins this season, were 5-9 in their last 14 games against ODAC opposition after winning eight of their first 10 and holding the top spot in the conference during that stretch.
Shenandoah University, Virginia Wesleyan and Ferrum tied for third in the final conference standings, but because of tiebreakers, the Hornets were seeded third, the Marlins were seeded fourth and the Panthers were seeded fifth for the first weekend of tournament play, which featured the top eight teams in the conference.
Virginia Wesleyan and Ferrum were tied at 1 in the first inning and the Marlins broke the stalemate by manufacturing a run in the third.
In the fourth, the Marlins took advantage of a solo home run by Daniel Petro, an RBI single by Jordan McDonough, a three-run double down the left-field line by Tyriq Campbell and a RBI base hit by Reese Reid to account for its six runs.
Ferrum, who was the designated home team for the game, did pick up a run in its half of the fourth on Christian Campbell’s RBI double to right centerfield that brought Jake Martin home.
With the count 8-2, neither team scored again until Ferrum manufactured a run in its half of the eighth courtesy of Connor Dopp’s RBI single that drove in Kyle Anstice.
In the ninth, an RBI ground out by Grey Sherfey scored pinch runner Greg White and a base hit through the left side by Anstice brought Nathaniel Anthony home.
McDonough drove in the Marlins’ initial run with a single through the left side in the first and Campbell smacked the first of his two doubles in the third to produce a run.
Tim Ortega’ single to left centerfield scored Sherfey with the Panthers’ first inning run.
Ferrum outhit Virginia Wesleyan, 13-11, but the Panthers committed two errors as opposed to one by the Marlins.
Jacob Pilarski (8-3), Virginia Wesleyan’s starting pitcher, worked 7 2/3 innings for the victory. He yielded nine hits, two walks and three runs, two of which were earned, while striking out 10.
Pilarski faced 34 batters.
Jay Crusemire, the last of four Virginia Wesleyan pitchers, earned his first save of the season after recording the game’s final two outs. He faced two batters, striking out one.
Forty-three batters visited the plate for the Panthers.
Senior left-hander Joey Pride (6-3) was charged with the loss. He permitted eight hits, four walks and seven runs, all of which were earned, while striking out three in 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered Petro’s home run.
A trio of pitchers worked in relief for Ferrum: Cory Peel and seniors Noah Collins and Braxton Wheeler (Franklin County).
Forty-one batters came to the plate for the Marlins.
McDonough led the Marlins with three hits, while Dylan Gentry, Campbell and Petro each collected two and Reid and Jordan Sprouse each had one.
Campbell drove in four runs, McDonough drove in two and Reid and Petro each drove in one.
Austin Obsenour and Brady Fallon each had a sacrifice.
Ortega (double) and Anstice each registered three hits for Ferrum, while Anthony and Campbell each recorded two and Martin, Dopp and Drew Calohan each had one.
Sherfey, Ortega, Anstice, Dopp and Campbell each drove in a run for the Panthers.
Anthony was caught stealing.
The Panthers turned the game’s lone double play.
Virginia Wesleyan 2, Ferrum 0
Virginia Wesleyan scored once in the bottom of the first and once in the last of the fourth Friday en route to a 2-0 shut-out victory in the first game of the series.
It was a pitcher’s duel as both starters turned in complete- game efforts.
The Marlins’ Andrew Lowe surrendered six hits and walk, while striking out seven to earn the win. He threw 134 pitches to 35 batters, 92 of which were strikes.
The Panthers’ Drew Calohan permitted four hits, five walks and two runs, both of which were earned in eight innings. He threw 115 pitches to 30 batters, 64 of which were strikes.
Virginia Wesleyan manufactured the only run it would need in the bottom of the first when Jacob Pilarski singled to leftfield to bring home Dylan Gentry.
In the fourth, Brady Fallon singled and advanced to second on a throw the plate. Zack Clark scored on the plate.
Neither team recorded an extra-base hit.
Gentry, Pilarski, Clark and Fallon accounted for the Marlins’ hits each with one.
Reese Reid had a sacrifice, while Gentry and Clark each stole a base.
Ferrum finished with six hits: two by Tim Ortega and one each by Nathaniel Anthony, Kyle Anstice, Josh Greenway and Conner Dopp.
Anstice had a sacrifice.
Virginia Wesleyan committed the game’s lone error.
CIRCLING THE BASES: Ferrum finished the season with an 8-7 record in road games and was 0-2 in neutral site games: the Panthers were swept by Marymount University in a doubleheader played in Washington, D.C. at Catholic University.
Ferrum was 14-9 at W.B. Adams Field.
The Panthers were 2-6 in on-run games, 5-4 in two-run games, 1-2 in three-run games and 14-6 in games decided by four runs or more. They shut out three opponents (Emory & Henry, Averett and Oneonta) and lost once by shutout (Virginia Wesleyan).
•Former Franklin County standout Ryan Brewer worked 1 1/3 innings of relief for No. 8 seed Eastern Mennonite University in the second game of its ODAC tournament series against top seed and regular-season champion Randolph-Macon College.
Brewer, a senior, allowed four hits, a walk and three runs, all of which were earned. He faced nine batters.
Randolph-Macon swept the series, 2-0, with wins by 13-1 and 11-1 counts, to advance to Salem.
The rest of the tournament seeds held as No. 2 Roanoke College swept No. 7 University of Lynchburg 2-0 with wins by scores of 2-1 (in 12 innings) and 11-3 and No. 3 seed Shenandoah University swept No. 6 seed Hampden-Sydney College 2-0 with wins by scores of 5-0 and 7-6.
On the opening day of double-elimination play Friday at Salem, Randolph-Macon plays Virginia Wesleyan at 4 p.m. and Roanoke faces Shenandoah at 7:30 p.m.