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Sal Carricato
Sal Carricato earns his first SAC Player of the Week honor of the season.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Split Doubleheader With Mars Hill

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team and Mars Hill closed out their regular seasons by splitting the Saturday doubleheader.

In the first game of the day, the Bears jumped out to an early 4-0 lead through the first two innings. However, the Lions roared back by scoring 12 runs during the third, fourth and fifth innings combined.

While the Bears had a two-run lead entering the bottom of the fifth, Mars Hill had enough horsepower to get past LR in the 13-11 win.

In the second game of the day, LR and Mars Hill traded off some productive innings with the Bears scoring three runs in the second and the fourth, while the Lions had a three-run third.

The difference maker in the game, in addition to the series, came in the sixth inning, when the Bears dropped six runs on the Lions to power themselves to a series victory with the 13-3 outcome.

In game one, Cole Laskowski had one of his best performances of the season with collecting team highs with four RBIs and three runs. It is only the third time in the redshirt junior’s LR career that Laskowski had a game with four or more runs batted in.

In addition to his impressive game, it was also the first multi-home run game of Laskowski’s LR career. He had a two-run home run in both the first and fifth innings.

For the second-straight game, Sal Carricato crushed a home run for the Bears with a solo shot in the first inning. The redshirt junior now has a team-high 17 home runs on the year, which is tied for second-most in a single season in program history.

Hogan Stallings had a massive pinch-hit at-bat for the Bears with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. It is the second home run of the season for the redshirt junior.

Khi Holiday got the game started with a surge at the plate with a lead-off triple. The junior from Tupelo, Miss., also was one of three Bears to score multiple runs.

Tyler McPeak, who had a team-high 11-game hit streak, had his stretch snapped with a 0-for-5 game at the plate. It is only the seventh time this season that the graduate student had a hit-less game.

Caleb Cockerham, who was handed his second loss of the season, gave up two hits and three earned runs in his one inning of work.

In game two, McPeak had a perfect game at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance. The graduate student also had a team-high three RBIs and two runs.

After his four-RBI game on Friday, Carricato had a two-RBI game for the Bears. The redshirt junior had a multi-RBI game in each contest over the weekend, bringing his total to 59 on the regular season.

The Bears had no trouble finding the gap as they rattled off six doubles in the contest. That is the second-most doubles in a single game this season; the only performance that was greater was a seven-double game against Saint Michael’s on March 14.

Holiday hit his third home run of the season with a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Two of Holiday’s long balls have come on the road.

Kellen Gradisar, who has earned a win in three consecutive starts, went four innings on the mound. The freshman gave up only five hits and three earned runs in his four innings pitched.

After Gradisar’s start came to a close, the LR bullpen was nearly lights out for the second day in a row. The combined group of Tyler Parks, Randan Rigdan and Andy Cook gave up only one hit in their three innings of work.

Nathan Kidder, who pinched hit for the Bears in the seventh inning, collected his first hit of the season with a single.

With the doubleheader split, LR leads the all-time series, 91-41-1. For games that have been played in the NCAA era at Mars Hill, N.C., the Bears have a 30-17 record. The Bears were unable to improve their win streak over the Lions to 10 with a 13-11 loss in game one of the doubleheader. The nine-game win streak is tied for the longest in the series history.

With the 13-3 win in the second game of the doubleheader, the Bears have clinched a spot in the SAC Tournament. With the 30 regular-season wins, it marks the third-straight season that the Bears have reached that tally.

LR Baseball is now 30-20 overall, 16-14 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team will begin postseason play with the 2024 SAC Tournament. The Bears will be the No. 8 seed in the tournament and will spend the first weekend in Salisbury, N.C. LR is slated to play No. 1 seeded Catawba on Friday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}