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Bryce Stober
Hickory High grad Bryce Stober had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Blasts Past St. Michael’s

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball shut out an opponent for the first time in 2023 as they defeated St. Michael’s (VT), 14-0, to sweep the two-game series.

March continues to be the Bears’ month as they have extended their season-longest nine-game winning streak in addition to winning their ninth straight home game.

It was a full day for Coach Ramirez’s pitching staff with seven arms being used. The complete staff allowed only four hits while striking out 11 batters; in the 31 at-bats faced, the Bears did not walk a single Purple Knights batter.

Andy Cook (2-1) started the game for the Bears and earned his first winning decision since the Feb. 7 contest against Coker. The combined bullpen did most of the work with 7.0 innings pitched, especially Cole Bramhall who tied for a team-most three strikeouts and faced eight opposing batters.

Flipping over to the offense, it becomes the eighth-consecutive game where LR reached the 10-run threshold. Out of the 16 hits the Bears recorded, there were 12 LR unique hitters including Bryce Stober, who had a three-hit performance.

LR was walked nine times on Tuesday; that becomes the new season-high for most walks in a single game. The six highest team batting averages have all come in March, with Tuesday’s .444 combined batting average being the second-highest.

Blake Bean connected for his 13th home run of the season, extending his lead for the most in Division II. With another comfortable victory, Coach Ramirez was able to empty his bench with eight pinch-hitters getting at least one at-bat on Tuesday.

Despite the 14 runs they scored, LR still stranded 12 runners out on the base paths.

Combined with Monday’s 19-2 victory, LR outscored St. Michael’s (VT) 33-2 over the two days; the most lopsided score total of any opponent this season. With the conclusion of the first-ever series between these two schools, LR now leads 2-0 over St. Michael’s (VT).

This series was the last non-conference set on the Bears’ schedule in 2023; there are four more stand-alone non-SAC games. LR went 5-0 in non-conference series this season, sweeping the last three against Southern Wesleyan, Cedarville and St. Michael’s (VT).

The Bears will begin a six-game stretch against SAC opponents, one of their longest this season.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 22-5 on the season: The Bears will return to conference play on Friday for the series opener against Wingate at 5:00 p.m.