On Alumni Day in which over 30 LR Baseball alums were in attendance, the current Bears swept UVA Wise in a doubleheader by scores of 6-5 and 4-0 to complete the weekend sweep and improve to 34-7 on the year and 13-5 in the conference. Drew Yniesta drew a game-winning bases-loaded walk in game one of the doubleheader, and the Bears completed the seventh shutout of the season in game two to take care of business against the Cavaliers.
In game one, Wade Cuda started things off with a bang once again, hitting his fourth leadoff home run of the year in the bottom of the 1st inning to make it 1-0 Bears. Later in the inning, Nick Clarno lined a single to center field to drive in Cole Laskowski, and it was 2-0 after one inning of play.
UVA Wise got the next four runs from a solo home run from Justin Reed in the 2nd, a sacrifice fly from Clay Taylor in the 3rd, and a two-run homer for Tyler Campbell, the SAC leader in home runs. It was 4-2 Cavaliers after four.
The Bears had 12 men in a row set down before Erick Ramirez walked with two outs in the 5th. Cuda then came up and doubled him home down the left field line, and Laskowski tripled for the 2nd game in a row to score Cuda and tie the game at four. Laskowski then came in to score on a wild pitch and it was 5-4 Bears after five.
A bases-loaded walk for Wise tied the game in the 6th, and it remained scoreless until the bottom of the 9th.
David Bell led off the 9th with a walk, Bryce Stober sacrifice bunted him over to 2nd, Cuda was intentionally walked, Laskowski walked, and then Yniesta walked to drive in the game-winning run. It was the Bears’ 4th walk-off win this season.
Spencer Floyd got the win, pitching the final two innings scoreless. Kanan Butler also pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen for the Bears.
In game two, the Bears played long ball in the second game, with Yniesta hitting his 11th big fly of the year in the first inning scoring Cuda to make it 2-0. Laskowski hit his second homer of the series in the 3rd inning, and it was 3-0.
The Bears added the final tally of the game in the 4th after back-to-back doubles from Anthony Porrino and David Bell. Andrew Patrick got the start and the win, pitching five shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out six. He earns his seventh win of the year, which is second on the team and the conference.
Jackson Reid and Ben Friebel each pitched scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Bears, who tally their seventh shutout of the season.
With wins number 33 and 34, LR is one win shy of the program record set in 2007. The Bears surpassed the win total of the 2001 team with these wins, which is the only team in program history to make the NCAA Tournament.
Laskowski has reached base in 35 straight games, two short of the program record.
In the series, LR broke the single-season record for strikeouts. Currently, the Bears have 485 as a team, shattering the previous record of 462 set in 2017. The Bears are now 7-0 all-time against UVA Wise and have outscored the Cavaliers 95-26 in those games.
Cuda hit two leadoff home runs this week, one in the exhibition game against the Hickory Crawdads on Wednesday, before the leadoff homer in game one of this doubleheader.
Lenoir-Rhyne is 34-7 overall, 13-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears hit the road again for a midweek with USC Aiken on Tuesday. 5 p.m. first pitch.