Rocky Mount, N.C. - North Carolina Wesleyan's baseball team honored its 2014 senior class on Sunday afternoon, then proceeded to take the rubber game of its three-game series with USA South rival Methodist University by a 5-4 score. The Bishops had previously split Saturday's twinbill with the Monarchs, taking game one by a 5-1 tally before dropping game two 6-4. The series marked the final home games at Bauer Field for seniors James Johnson, Alexis Rodriguez, Hayden Williams, Mike DeVinney, Matthew Rhyne, Tyler Clark, Daniel Carroll, Will Beasley and Jackson Pleasant.
Sunday's game was a thriller that saw Wesleyan plate a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure its third straight series win.
NCWC had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second thanks to a Rodriguez RBI and a two-run single by freshman Luis Palencia. Beasley was then able to hold the Monarchs in check until the fifth, when a two-out double by Chris Power got Methodist on the board. MU went on to plate a trio of runs in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead.
Beasley completed seven innings before Carroll and Rhyne came on to toss a scoreless eighth and ninth, setting the stage for ninth-inning fireworks that were fittingly ignited by seniors. Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to start the frame, and pinch runner Kani Upshur advanced to second on a Williams single to left. Johnson followed with a perfect sac-bunt, and the ensuing throwing error allowed Upshur and Williams to come around with the tying and winning runs, allowing for a Bishop celebration on the third base line.
The victory came on the heels of a Saturday split. Freshman Ryan Grant (1-0) and sophomore Dillon Moore combined for a gem in the opener, allowing just one run on ten hits. Sophomore J.J. Rodriguez paced the offense by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Unfortunately, the Monarchs erased a late 4-2 deficit in game two by scoring four runs over their final two at-bats to salvage a 6-4 victory.
Wesleyan (11-18-1, 8-12) will travel to St. Andrews on Wednesday for a 2:00pm match-up with the Knights. The Bishops will then ready themselves for their USA South Spring Festival series versus Maryville, which will feature Thursday and Friday games at Wilson's Fleming Stadium followed by a Saturday contest at Five County Stadium in Zebulon.