Today the Rails had an opportunity to play in Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium on Lewis Gale Field for another important Eastern Division doubleheader against the Deep Water Muddogs. The Dogs are in third place in the division, trailing the second place Rails by four games.
Rails ace right hander Zack Kelly (UNC-Newberry) took the mound facing McKinley Stansberry, a right hander from Lenior-Rhyne University. Like the steamy atmosphere, the bats would be hot for both teams today.
Deep Water shortstop Cody Ezzell’s (Lenoir CC) single scored North Greenville University teammates Josh Black and Foley George to kick off the scoring in the first inning. In the bottom of the inning, Jack Elliott’s sacrifice fly would score Lincoln Evans (Lynchburg College) and a single by Jon Munn (Lynchburg College) scored Luke Setzer (Catawba) and Nic Ratliff (Bluefield College) to give the Rails a two run lead.
In the bottom of the second the Rails continued to pile on the runs. Elliott doubled to right field to start the inning and scored on Munn’s second RBI single of the game. Ratliff, who singled earlier in the inning, was plated by Nic Love’s base hit to left field opening up a four run lead for the Rails.
Christian Sanderson’s line drive, two out single in the home fifth scored Evans and Steve Klaiber (UVA-Wise) providing with a commanding four run lead. Kelly, would struggle with his control throughout the afternoon, walking five, however, he battled through several innings and kept the Rails in the lead. Troy Beckner (Concord) was, once again on his game, working one and a third innings, the lefty yielded no hits and struck out two while closing the game.
Game two was a tense pitching duel between Roanoke’s Easton Riggs (Ferrum College) and Deep River’s KJ McAllister (North Carolina A&T). Both starters threw four shutout innings, until the top of the fifth. Riggs opened the inning by hitting Trey Byrd (St. Andrews) and issued back to back singles to Tiger Andrews (St. Andrews) and Josh Black. In all, the Dogs scored five runs in the inning and Sean O’Connell (Marymount) replaced Riggs on the mound.
McAllister was dominant through the game, throwing strike and keeping the Rails off balance throughout. His pinpoint pitch location strayed in the sixth when he drilled Munn in the head with a fast ball. Shaken, Munn left the game and Luke Setzer pinch ran for his teammate. Setzer would score on a single by Ryan Peevey (Hampden-Sydney) for the only run of the game for the Rails. Peevey, a catcher, threw out three runners trying to steal this weekend and is heating up with the bat, a nice addition to the line-up.
The Rails had a successful weekend posting three wins in four games and remain in second place in their division. Jon Munn is uninjured and will continue to knock in runs for the rest of their 2015 season.