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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 Southern Wesleyan

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team swept a doubleheader with Southern Wesleyan in non-conference action on Saturday at Durham Field. The Bears pounded out 15 hits and scored 19 runs in game one, a 19-8 win, and hit three homers in a game two victory, 8-2. Owen Blackledge blasted a pair of bombs in the night cap as the Bears close the first home weekend series of the year with a three-game sweep.

In game one, the Bears would jump on Southern Wesleyan from the start as Blake Bean smacked a solo home run from the No. 2 hole in the lineup in the bottom of the 1st and LR never looked back. It was Khi Holiday with his first career bomb in the second inning, a 3-run shot, to extend the lead to 4-0. Jovani Wiggs would drive in a run in the third with a sac fly and Zach Evans would score on a balk as it was 6-0 after three. The onslaught continued in the fourth with Bean scoring on an error and Tyler McPeak coming home on a wild pitch. SWU would break through with two in the sixth but LR answered with a 4-spot in the bottom of the inning. Two scored on Wiggs’ double while Hogan Stallings knocked in two with a base hit. Dillon Chapa earned the win with five strong innings and just one hit allowed with six strikeouts. Chapa has now only allowed one hit in his first 11 innings at LR. The Bears would score five in the eighth to close out the 19-run explosion. LR had 19 hits and 14 different players recorded a hit. Wiggs finished with a career-best 4 RBI and Bean scored three runs and reached base safely three times. Alex Rich, Ethan Caschetta and Michael Misenheimer came off the bench to go 6-for-6 with five runs scored.

In game two, Blackledge blasted a solo shot in the first inning to get the scoring started and the Bears would add a second tally on an RBI single from Cole Stanford. Bean drove in a run in the second with an RBI ground out to score Cole Nelson as LR grabbed a 3-0 lead. The Warriors pulled within one with a 2-RBI single in the top of the third but that’s all the scoring SWU could muster in the second game. Miller St. John hit a ground rule double to score Holiday in the fourth and Bean’s double brought home St. John as LR jumped ahead 5-2. Blackledge’s second tater of the game came in the sixth and Carricato followed with a homer of his own as the Bears went back-to-back. Kyle Murphy earned the win with his five innings and allowed just three hits while striking out four. The LR bullpen combined for four scoreless innings with six strikeouts.

SWU only had three hits in the second game. LR has won all eight matchups with Southern Wesleyan in series history. A year ago, LR swept SWU in three games at Durham Field with each of those wins coming by at least eight runs. The Bears wrap up a four-game week against Conference Carolinas foes with a 3-1 record. This continues an 11-game home swing. The Bears are 49-12 in their last 61 home games.

The Bears are 4-1 on the season. Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team will get into South Atlantic Conference play next weekend, starting with a 3 p.m. game on Friday against Limestone.