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

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader From Emory & Henry

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team clinched its first series victory in over a month by winning both games over Emory & Henry on Saturday.

In the series opener, the Bears found themselves in an early hole as LR trailed, 4-2, entering the bottom of the eighth. However, the bottom of the order came alive for the Bears.

Zach Evans started off the chain reaction with a 2-RBI double which was followed by Cole Stanford’s three-run home run to give LR the late lead en route to the 7-5 victory.

In the second contest of the day, LR did not have as much concern as it posted a 12-run fourth inning to collect a commanding 16-1 victory.

Dillon Chapa, who had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, earned his first winning decision since Feb. 10. The junior ended with five innings pitched and only allowed one hit and one earned run.

In game one,¬†Evans posted a 4-RBI performance thanks to his two-run home run in the second and a two-run double in the eighth. It is the first career game that Evans has recorded four runs batted in during his LR career. It has been a long time coming since Stanford’s last home run. His most recent shot came on Feb. 16 against Limestone. The Bears were 0-7 when trailing after seven innings entering Saturday.

Cole Bramhall earned his third victory of the season in a relief role. The redshirt junior dealt two innings pitched and gave up only three hits and one earned run. Kyle Murphy recorded his second save of the season in back-to-back games. The junior sealed the victory for the Bears with a game-winning strikeout. Blake Bean joined Evans as one of the two Bears to record two hits and two runs. Bean had a double and a single in his performance. Tyler McPeak had his six-game hitting streak snapped with a 0-for-4 performance. The graduate student had a 12-game hitting streak earlier in the campaign.

In game two, the Bears’ 12-run fourth inning is the third time in the past nine days that LR has posted an inning with 10 or more runs. The Bears had two 10+ run innings against Saint Michael’s on March 14. McPeak led the Bears with a five-RBI performance. It is the fifth time in his LR career that the graduate student drove five or more runs in a single game. Khi Holiday also had a busy game driving in runs. The junior sat just behind McPeak with a four-RBI game, which is the most the Tupelo, Miss. native has produced in a single game during his LR career.
The Bears recorded three triples in the contest with Hogan Stallings, Holiday and McPeak collecting a three-bagger. LR had three triples in its first 30 games of 2024.

LR’s offense rocked the Emory & Henry starter Bryson Wagner. The Wasps right-handed pitcher gave up 10 hits and 10 earned runs in his 3.1 innings pitched. Bean recorded his first stolen base of the season. The graduate student had 12 in 2023.

The combined LR bullpen of Jaxon Mangum and Lawrence Gallo pitched two innings on the mound. The pair struck out two batters and allowed only one hit in their efforts.

With the doubleheader sweep, LR now leads the all-time series, 8-2. This was the first time in the NCAA era that Emory & Henry has made the trip to Hickory, N.C.

This marks the first time that the Bears have won a weekend series since Feb. 16-17, when LR took two of three over the Limestone Saints. With the two victories, LR has a 5-3 record in home conference games. With a win on Sunday, it will be the first time that LR has swept a SAC opponent since UVA-Wise from April 1-2, 2023.

The Bears improve to 19-12 overall, 7-7. in the South Atlantic Conference LR will conclude the three-game series against Emory & Henry with a nine-inning contest on Sunday, March 24. First pitch from Durham Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.