Rocky Mount, N.C. - N.C. Wesleyan's baseball team closed out USA South Conference play over the weekend with a series win over Ferrum College, taking 2-of-3 from the Panthers at Bauer Field. The Battling Bishops end league play with a 10-8 record and now stand at 19-17 overall.
Friday's doubleheader saw junior Max Johnson deliver a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to give Wesleyan a 4-3 walk-off win. The Panthers had taken a 3-1 lead into the inning after plating a pair of runs in the seventh on an RBI-double by Tim Ortega and RBI-single by Grey Sherfey. In NCWC's final at-bat, Brandon Wheat and Alec Titmus connected on back-to-back singles to start the one-out rally, and senior Caleb Narron promptly ripped an RBI-double to right that scored Wheat and sent Titmus to third. After forcing the second out with a pop-up to first, Johnson came through with a line-drive to center that plated both runners and ignited a Bishop celebration.
Sophomore Luke Mills (1-1) picked up the win in relief, tossing a scoreless eighth and ninth to keep the Panthers in check. Starter Nate Garner received a no-decision after giving up three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in seven solid innings of work.
Game two saw the Bishops race out to a 5-0 advantage, highlighted by a Brad Pennington grand slam in the second inning. The lead was more than enough for freshman starter Drew Tubb (4-2), who allowed just three runs (two earned) on six hits with six strikeouts over eight complete. Pennington finished 2-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs to help Wesleyan complete the twinbill sweep with a 9-5 victory.
Unfortunately, Saturday's finale was all Ferrum as the Panthers (10-17, 8-6 USA South) avoided the sweep by downing NCWC 11-2. Playing their final home game at Bauer Field were seniors Garrison Vick, Austin King, Zach Byers, and Narron, who were all honored prior to the game. King got the call on the hill and cruised through the first three innings, but the Panthers eventually chased him after notching six runs in the fourth. Panther hurler Drew Calohan did the rest on the mound, tossing eight innings and giving up two runs on six hits with nine K's.
In addition to Senior Day, Saturday also served as the Bishops' Vs. Cancer Day. For more information or to make a donation, please visit http://www.ncwcsports.com/sports/bsb/2017-18/releases/20160111g7t135.
Next up for Wesleyan is a non-conference tilt at Randolph-Macon next Thursday at 3:30pm, followed by a three-game set at Pfeiffer University to wrap up the regular season. The Bishops will then await seeding for the 2018 USA South Conference Tournament slated for April 12-15 in LaGrange, Georgia.