Lenoir-Rhyne’s Baseball Team dropped a pair of SAC games on Friday afternoon at Durham Field to Mars Hill. Will Jones reached base six times on the day but the Bears fell 3-1 and 8-4 on the afternoon.
In game one, Mars Hill scored the first run in the fifth after a two-base error and a bunt single. The Bears got Mars Hill’s Kyle Jenkins in a pickle between first and second but a bad throw let Scottie Lee come in to score from third to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. The Lions added a run with a leadoff single by Ruben Trillo then a double by Trevor Bailey.
A two-out, pinch-hit RBI single by Mike McHugh got the Bears on the board in the sixth. After the Lions added insurance in the 7th, the Bears got the lead-off man on in the bottom half but could not do anything else as Mars Hill’s A.J. Chacon (4-1) went the distance on the mound. Chacon worked around seven walks to limit the Bears to the one run on the afternoon.
Alex Shirazi (3-2) went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out seven.
L-R’s Will Jones reached base all four times with four walks in the game. Jones’ four walks were the most walks in a game since Zach Jacobs walked four times against Pfeiffer on April 4, 2017.
In game two, the Lions jumped on Bears starter Tanner Moyers in the first scoring three runs. Tyler Lala hit a two-run homerun then Lee drove in the third run in the inning with a double. In the 4th, Mars Hill used three walks, two hit batters, a wild pitch, error and a timely double by Ruben Trillo to score three more runs to open a 6-0 lead.
E.J. Ranel’s 6th homerun gave the Bears their first hit to lead off the bottom of the 5th. David Bell and Wade Cuda added two-out RBI singles to cut the Lions lead in half later in the inning. Ranel’s sac fly in the bottom of the 6th got LR within two.
In the 9th, Mars Hill used a pitch hit two-run double by Kam Reyonlds to double the lead to 8-4.
LR had threats in the 6th and 9th innings but Mars Hill got inning-ending double plays to end the scoring threat.
Kanan Butler went 3 1/3 innings out of the pen for the Bears striking out a career-high six hitters. Before setting a career-high in strikeouts today, Butler had four strikeouts against Limestone on April 2, 2019.
The two teams did not play in conference play last year but did meet up in Florence, S.C. on the opening weekend for a non-conference matchup. LR came out ahead with a 9-4 win. The Lions got their first win against the Bears in the last six games. Mars Hill last win against the Bears was St. Patrick’s Day in 2018.
The Bears drop to 3-6 when their opponents score first. L-R falls to 14-9 overall, 11-7 in the South Atlantic Conference.