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Blake Bean
Blake Bean went a combined four-for-seven with four runs scored and two RBI.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Drops Two to Lincoln Memorial

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team lost both games of the Saturday doubleheader against Lincoln Memorial to be handed a series defeat for the first time this season.

The Railsplitters rattled off a combined 36 runs in both games to power their way past the LR pitching department. In addition to the run production, 19 out of the 27 hits that LMU collected were extra-base knocks.

In the first game of the doubleheader, LMU jumped out to an early 6-0 lead thanks to a grand slam by Cameron Bowen. While LR was able to chip away at the six-run deficit and gain a one-run lead, the Railsplitters orchestrated a six-run eighth inning to put themselves out of distance in a 16-12 final.

For the second contest, LMU once again struck early and often as the visitors tallied up a nine-run third inning to garner a 10-1 lead. While the Bears did not show signs of quitting in the later stages of the matchup, LMU ripped off a seven-run seventh frame to finish with a 20-4 result.

As this series ends, so does the longest home stand of the season for the Bears. During its 11-game stretch, LR went 7-4 and split the SAC games with a 3-3 mark.

In game one, after recording a five-hit night on Friday, Bryce Stober recorded for a three-hit game while also scoring two runs and driving one in. In addition to Stober scoring two runs, Blake Bean, Tyler McPeak, Khi Holiday, Zach Evans, and Cole Stanford each crossed home plate a couple of times. McPeak launched a home run in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The graduate student led the Bears in home runs last year with 18. With Evans’ two-run home run in the ninth inning, it is now four-straight opponents that the redshirt junior has gone yard against. As the Bears recorded 17 hits in the game, it marked the third consecutive time LR has recorded 17+ hits in a single game. The Bears had 17 against Chowan on Feb. 20 while they had 19 against LMU on Feb. 23. While Dillon Chapa went five innings, he allowed eight earned runs and seven hits. In his combined previous three appearances, the junior allowed only one earned run and three hits. LR left 10 runners on base, which included the game-ending strikeout when Sal Carricato went down at the plate with the bases loaded. LMU only stranded five in the contest.

In game two, with Bean’s first-inning single, the graduate student has now recorded a hit in 11-straight appearances. As McPeak registered a RBI single in the sixth inning, the Denver, N.C. native brought his runs driven in total to seven on the weekend. Kyle Murphy was handed with first defeat of the season. The junior gave up seven earned runs and five hits in his 2.1 innings pitched. The 16-run loss is the largest margin of defeat that the Bears have suffered in a single game this season. The Bears marked a new season-low with only three hits in the contest. The last LR had a number that low in a home game was eight against Southern Wesleyan on Feb. 9. LR pitching combined for seven wild pitches, that is the most the Bears have given up in a contest for 2024. The offense had nine strikeouts, which is the fourth time the Bears have reached that number in a single game this season. The last time LR had that many in a single game before Saturday was on Feb. 7 vs. North Greenville.

With the doubleheader sweep, LMU now leads the all-time series, 32-19. The first game of the doubleheader marked the 50th all-time meeting between the two programs. With the loss in the first game of the doubleheader, LR’s four-game win streak against LMU was snapped. The last time that LMU swept LR in a doubleheader was on Feb. 28, 2015, when the Railsplitters took both games in Hickory, N.C. These two programs continue a strong back-and-forth rivalry with each side having five wins in the past 10 meetings.

LR is 11-4 overall, 3-3 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team will hit the road for the first time since Feb. 4 as the Bears travel down to Tigerville, S.C. to face No. 2 North Greenville. First pitch is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 3:30 p.m.