On a day the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team cut the ribbon to officially commemorate the new Durham Field opening Saturday, the Bears swept Mars Hill 12-3 and 11-1. In game one, Matt Mackey and Nick Clarno combined for seven RBIs while in the nightcap a seven-run fifth inning broke the game open for the Bears.
In game one, the start was delayed 59 minutes due to rain.
Once play began, LR went through the line up in the bottom of the first with a four-run inning. Mackey hit a three-run blast, his fifith of the year. Nick Clarno drove in two more with a single up the middle in the second to give LR a 6-0 lead.
After the Lions added an unearned run in the 3rd, the Bears responded with five in the bottom half. RBIs by David Bell, Will Jones, Drue Galassi, Clarno and Mackey gave the Bears a 11-1 lead.
Mars Hill scored two more unearned runs in the 4th then E.J. Ranel got one back with a RBI single up the middle.
Bears starter Andrew Patrick (5-1) worked around a one hour and twenty-three minute rain delay to get the win on the mound. Patrick threw four innings did not allow an earned run while striking out six Lions. Jarod Large gave the Bears 2 1/3 hitless innings out of the bullpen to close out the game.
Ranel, Jones, Clarno, Cuda, and Bell all had two hits a piece for the Bears as LR had 13 hits in this one.
In game two, the Bears scored again in the first inning, this time LR scored twice including Ranel’s seventh homerun of the season. Bryce Stober’s two-out single through the right side gave the Bears a 3-1 lead through four. Clarno, who started at third in game two, made two outstanding diving stops in the first five innings to help eliminate big innings for Mars Hill.
LR broke the game open with a seven run fifth inning. LR sent twelve men to the plate as the first eight men reached base safely. The Bears end it with a bases-loaded walk by Andy Lopez to enlist the mercy rule after 7 innings.
Stober went 3-4 for the Bears while Ranel and Bell added two hits for the Bears.
Bears Starter Joshua Lanham only needed nine pitches to get out of the second inning but one of the pitches was a solo homerun by Mars Hill’s Hunter Holland to cut the lead to 2-1. Lanham moves to 4-0 by throwing six inning of one-run ball striking out eight Lions. Lanham’s fourth strikeout in the 4th inning was his 50th of the year.
Bears moved to 15-0 under Coach Ramirez when scoring at least ten runs in a game and LR is now 11-2 when scoring in the first inning this year.
The Bears have the top three strikeout leaders in the SAC conference. Lanham leads with 54 strikeouts followed by Alex Shirazi with 39 and Patrick with 38.
The Bears are 16-9 overall, 13-7 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR heads to Lincoln Memorial for an non-conference matchup on Tuesday at 4pm.