skip to Main Content
Owen Blackledge
Owen Blackledge had a pair of home runs in the second game of the doubleheader.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader Against Lander

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team continued its perfect start to the season by defeating Flagler in both games on Saturday, winning game one, 4-0 and winning the second game, 7-5.

In the first contest, Dillon Chapa drew up an impressive stat line in his LR debut. The junior from Waller, Texas, pitched six no-hit innings and struck out five batters along the way to earn the victory.

Although it took a bit of time to get the offense rolling, the Bears used small ball tactics to jump out in front of the Saints. In the seventh, Bryce Stober laid down a bunt to score Tyler McPeak, which was the first run of the game. Then in the eighth, Miller St. John scored on a wild pitch to give the Bears the two-run cushion.

To cap off the first game of the day, Cole Laskowski drove in his first two runs of the season with a ninth inning double to give the Bears the 4-0 result.

In the second contest, LR faced its largest deficit of the season through the first four innings. After going down 4-1, the Bears went on to score six unanswered runs en route to the 7-5 final.

Zach Evans, who went hitless in the first two games of the season, rattled off a three-hit evening in addition to his three-RBI effort. The redshirt junior drove in a run on each one of those hits.

After connecting for his first home run of the season on Friday, Sal Carricato crushed two home runs in the sixth and eighth, respectively. The redshirt junior becomes the first Bear to have a multi home run game in 2024.

After going hitless on Friday, Laskowski connected for two hits. Both knocks came late in the contest, with the first one coming in the eighth, while the second came in the ninth. LR held Flagler to only two hits and two walks. Michael Ribis allowed the two hits in his two innings pitched, while Spencer Floyd closed the game with a perfect ninth inning.

For a game that did not have too much offense, there was only nine combined strikeouts between the two programs. The Saints suffered five while the Bears struck out four times. Owen Blackledge pulled off back-to-back multi-hit games by connecting for two singles. The first came in the fourth, while his second knock came in the seventh.

Blake Bean continued his hit streak to 22 with his single in the sixth inning. Although he did not get the start at third, St. John scored two of the four LR runs. Khi Holiday successfully stole his first base of the season. It was also the junior’s first start at LR.

LR had four players record a multi-hit day. Evans led the way with three while Carricato, McPeak and Blackledge each had two. The Bears were walked 10 different times. Bean had the most free passes as the graduate student walked four unique times. Gavin Marley earned the win after pitching a no-hit seventh inning. Although the redshirt sophomore gave up three walks, Marley was able to force a pop-up, which stranded two runners in scoring position.

Speaking of runners left in scoring position, the two teams combined to leave 24 runners on base. The Bears stranded 14 runners while the Saints left 10 runners on the base paths. The Bears committed four errors out in the field. LR did not have a single error in its first two games of the season. St. John recorded his first hit for the Bears. The redshirt junior connected for a single in the fourth inning. Kellen Gradisar earned the first save of the season for LR. The freshman pitched two innings and allowed only one unearned run and one hit.

With the doubleheader sweep, LR now leads the all-time series, 3-2. In 2023, LR swept 4 of its 5 non-conference doubleheaders. This marks the second time in the last three seasons that LR has won its first three road games.

It took the Bears 27 games to record their first shutout of the season in 2023. It only took them two games into the 2024 season. LR looks to get their first four-game sweep over a single opponent since Feb. 11-13, 2022. At Durham Field, LR swept then No. 14 ranked Goldey-Beacom.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team will conclude its season-opening series against Flagler. First pitch is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 4 at 12 p.m.