E.J. Ranel and Xander Ferlenda hit back-to-back home runs for the second time this year as the Bears hit four long balls in the nightcap to split with Wingate in the first two games of the weekend series. Connor Smith and Drue Galassi also homered in a 14-3 win while Tanner Moyers stuck out a career high eleven on the afternoon. In the first game, Matt Mackey went deep but LR fell 6-3.
In game one, Wingate jumped out with four runs in the first. The Bulldogs used two hits, two walks and two LR errors to jump out to the early lead. The Bulldogs Jed Bryant added a solo homerun in the second to extend the lead to 5-0.
LR got that run back with a Bryce Stober RBI single scoring Nick Clarno to get the Bears on the board in the bottom half. Mackey got the Bears another run back with a leadoff homer in the 5th.
After the Bryant homerun, Bears starter Alex Shirazi retired the last ten batters he faced. Shirazi went five innings allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out four. However, Shirazi’s streak of seven straight starts allowing two or fewer runs ended in game one.
Bears got scoreless innings from Michael Allen and Braden Houston in relief.
LR had the tying run on the plate in the 7th but Wingate’s Brody McCullough got a ground out to end the game.
Smith, Ferlenda and Mackey had two hits a piece for the Bears.
In game two, it was the Bears turn to score four runs in the first this time. Mackey delivered a three-run double down the left line then came in to score on a squeeze play from Stober on a 0-2 pitch to give the Bears a 4-0 lead. The Bears had a chance to extend their lead in the second with bases loaded and no outs but could not get anyone in as the Bulldogs retired the next three Bears without allowing a run.
After the Bulldogs got an unearned run in the third, Smith got it back with one swing of the bat to lead off the bottom of the third with a long homerun to right.
Ranel and Ferlenda went back to back later in the inning to gave the Bears a 8-1 lead.
After Carson Simpson’s two-run homer cut the lead to 8-3, LR exploded with a six-run fifth which included a Galassi homerun and a Mike McHugh two-run single.
Moyers (3-2) went the distance for his first complete game of the year. Moyers allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out a career high eleven Bulldogs.
Wingate came into the game ranked #28 in the Collegiate Baseball Division II Poll that came out on Tuesday.
LR falls to 7-7 on the year when making at least two errors in a contest.
The Bears did not hit back to back home runs in the previous four seasons but have done it three times in 2021. L-R is now 7-3 when they hit at least two home runs in a game.
L-R is 17-11 overall and 14-8 in the South Atlantic Conference.