HAMPDEN-SYDNEY — Ferrum College rallied late for a victory in the first game and at the midpoint of the second contest Saturday en route to a doubleheader baseball sweep of Old Dominion Athletic Conference rival Hampden-Sydney College in the 2019 regular-season finale for both teams.
The Panthers (13-9 in the ODAC, 22-16 overall) won the first game, 9-8 in 10 innings, and took the second contest, 11-6.
The wins propel Ferrum into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with a pair of the conference’s three NCAA Division III tournament teams from a season ago: Virginia Wesleyan University and reigning ODAC champion Shenandoah University.
The top eight teams in the conference advance to the ODAC’s postseason tournament.
In the first weekend of the event, the top four seeds host best-of-three-games series with the four winners of those sets advancing to the double-elimination championship portion of the tournament the following weekend.
Ferrum won eight of its first 10 conference games this season before finishing 5-7 in its last 12 league outings.
Saturday, the Panthers trailed the Tigers (11-10-1 in the ODAC, 17-17-2 overall) 6-2 after two innings and 8-2 after seven frames of the first game.
Then, Ferrum’s offense erupted for six runs in the top of the eighth to force extra innings. In the top of the 10th, the Panthers manufactured the game-winning run.
“It was two great road wins against a good (Hampden-Sydney) club. It’s been really tough for us to win at Hampden-Sydney. I’m really proud of the way our guys competed,’’ Panthers skipper Ryan Brittle said.
In the eighth, pinch hitter Jacob Gladstone drove in two runs with a double down the left-field line; Matt Yarbrough singled through the left side to bring home a run; Nathaniel Anthony smacked a double to left centerfield to plater two runs; and Tim Ortega grounded out to shortstop to plate the final run of the rally.
In the 10th, a Grey Sherfey single brought Brandon Roberts home with the game-winning run.
Two of Ferrum’s six runs in the frame were unearned.
The Panthers outhit the Tigers, 14-10, and benefited from two Hampden-Sydney errors, while committing one defensive blunder.
Senior lefthander Noah Collins (1-1), the last of six pitchers employed by Ferrum, tossed three innings of one-hit, shut-out relief to claim his first win of the season and even his record. In facing 13 batters, he walked two, stuck out three and hit one.
Carlton Redd started the game for Ferrum and was followed in succession by Ethan Westgate, Braxton Wheeler (Franklin County), Bubba Jones and Sam McLaughlin.
Outfielder Josh Greenway collected three hits in five plate appearances to pace the Panthers. One of those hits was a double. He scored once
Also with a double for Ferrum was Christian Campbell.
Chase Counts was 4 of 5 with a sacrifice bunt and a run for Hampden-Sydney.
Also, Jonathan Triesler belted two doubles and Jacob Bartlett smacked a triple.
Tigers pitcher Cameron Meyers (2-2) was charged with the loss. He permitted three hits and struck out one.
In the second game, Ferrum trailed 5-4 through four innings, then rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good.
The Panthers, who tallied two runs each in the second and third frames, claimed the victory and the sweep by manufacturing two runs each in the eighth and ninth.
Hampden-Sydney scored once in the second, twice each in the third and fourth and once in the sixth.
The Panthers outhit the Tigers, 11-6, and benefited from four Hampden-Sydney errors, while committing two defensive miscues.
Greenway belted a two-run home run in the second inning and Ortega matched it with a two-run shot in the third.
Greenway also smacked a triple; he was 2 of 4 at the plate with three runs and three RBIs, while Ortega was 2 of 4 with two runs and two RBIs.
For Hampden-Sydney, Bartlett was 2 of 4 with a double and a run and Blake Hartman belted a home run.
Ferrum freshman reliever Will Davis (3-3) worked five innings to square his record. He surrendered two hits, two walks and one earned run, while striking out two.
Junior lefthander Colby Grissom started for the Panthers and departed the mound after one inning. In the frame, he permitted three walks, one run, which was earned and struck out one.
Cory Peel tossed two innings of relief – he surrendered two hits and two runs, neither of which was earned. – and Jonathan Walton pitched an inning of relief and yielded two hits and two runs, neither of which was earned.
Hampden-Sydney starter Bradford Webb (2-5) was charged with the loss. He lasted five innings.
Webb was tagged for seven hits, a walk and seven earned runs. He struck out three.
Hampden-Sydney employed four relievers each of whom worked one inning.
The quartet allowed four hits, four runs, three of which were earned, and four walks, while striking out two.