W&L Baseball splits with Pfeiffer after wild game two

Ryan Monson

MISENHEIMER, N.C. – The Washington and Lee baseball team defeated Pfeiffer, 5-0, in game one of a doubleheader, before the Falcons claimed a 15-13 game-two win to earn the doubleheader split on Saturday.

At the start of game two, Feeley led off with a double down the left-field line and moved up to third on a ground out by senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin). Senior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) then scored when sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) reached on a fielder's choice in the next at-bat for the game's first run.

The Falcons (1-1) answered quickly with a pair of run-scoring singles in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead, before another big inning from W&L (5-1) came in the next half inning.

Junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) singled to lead off the frame and then scored two batters later on a double to left center from sophomore center fielder Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley). Whitely, who was able to advance to third on the play on a throwing error, then scored on an RBI ground out by senior second baseman Ben Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep).

Feeley then walked, followed by a single from Jones, before Volpicelli reached on an error by the Pfeiffer center fielder, allowing both Feeley and Jones to score and give W&L a 5-2 lead.

In the top of the fourth, the W&L lead grew by one when Feeley launched his first home run of the season over the left field wall. But the Falcons again were ready with a quick response, when a three-run homer from junior shortstop Bryan Kowalski brought the W&L lead down to one run.

Senior first baseman Mason Striplin singled for Pfeiffer and then stole second, before scoring on a single to left from senior left fielder Kirby Lambert to tie the game at 6-6. First-year designated hitter Bryce Marsh then led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run to center to give the lead back to the Falcons.

Pfeiffer looked to break the game open with a five-run bottom of the sixth inning that featured a bases loaded walk and a pair of two-RBI singles that put the Falcons ahead, 12-6.

The Generals fought back immediately in the top of the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with one out for Feeley. The senior shortstop walked, bringing in the first run of the inning, before a Volpicelli single to center two batters later brought two more runs across. After Feeley advanced on a passed ball, senior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) reached on an error that allowed both Feeley and Volpicelli to come in to score and cut the Falcons' lead back down to one.

An RBI single from Striplin in the bottom of the seventh extended the Pfeiffer lead to two, but a two-run double from Volpicelli in the top of the eighth knotted the game up at 13-13.

The Falcons went on to score two unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth, before junior reliever Hayden McGraw retired the Generals in order in the top of the ninth to end the game.

The Generals entered the top of ninth inning of game one down a run, but Feeley led off with a double, before Jones was hit by a pitch. Volpicelli then hit a grounder to short but was safe on a throwing error, allowing Feeley to come in to score the tying run.

Pfeiffer opted to intentionally walk Loewenberg to load the bases with no outs. Two batters later, Monson grounded a ball to second, but beat the throw from the shortstop to avoid the double play, allowing Jones to score the go-ahead run from third.

Trailing by a score of 6-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Pfeiffer's first two hitters reached on a single and a double, respectively, before junior second baseman Ira Dorin tied the game with a three-run home run to left center. Two pitches later, first-year third baseman Blake Winebarger hit a solo shot down the right field line to give the Falcons their first lead of the game, 7-6.

A two-out rally led to the Generals scoring to open things up in the first inning. Volpicelli reached on an error and moved up to second on a single by Loewenberg. Junior catcher Bryce Burnette (Hurt, Va./Gretna) then singled through the right side to bring Volpicelli in to score for the game's first run.

The Falcons answered in the bottom half of the inning when Striplin walked with one out and moved up to second on a passed ball. After a fly out to center moved Striplin to third, another passed ball brought him in to tie the game.

With two outs in the top of the third, back-to-back walks issued to Loewenberg and Burnette kept the inning alive for Monson, who blasted a three-run homer to right field, putting the Generals back in the lead, 4-1.

Pfeiffer responded, once again, by putting men on second and third with one out in the following half inning. Lambert then hit a sacrifice fly to left, before senior catcher Chaston Gordon doubled to bring in another run before the inning closed.

Leading, 4-3, entering the top of the fifth, the Generals loaded the bases with no outs after two singles and a hit batter. Burnette then grounded into a double play, allowing Jones to score from third. Monson then drove in yet another run with a single through the right side to score Volpicelli from second to give the Generals a 6-3 lead.

The W&L offense was led by Feeley and Volpicelli, who both tallied five hits between the two games. Feeley finished the day 5-for-8 at the plate, with two doubles, a home run, two RBI, six runs and three walks, while Volpicelli tallied a 5-for-10 performance at the dish, with a double, five RBI (all in game two) and three runs scored.

Feeley's five hits moved him into fifth place on the program's all-time hits list (171), while his eight at-bats leaves him one away from becoming just the fourth player in school history to cross the 500-at-bat mark.

Monson went 2-for-5 in both games and drove in five runs in game one for his second straight five-RBI game. His home run in game one was the second of his career, as the junior scored twice on the day.

Sophomore lefty Chase Fleming (Pennington, N.J./Princeton Day School) earned the win in game one after tossing 2.2 shutout innings of relief while allowing just one hit and one walk and striking out three batters. Senior closer Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) notched his first save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth inning, striking out a pair of batters

Junior Carson McKoon (Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie School) started game one and went 4.0 innings and allowed two earned runs (three total) on five hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Senior Andrew Earvolino (Wilmette, Ill. / New Trier) relieved McKoon and tossed 1.1 innings, but allowed four runs on four hits.

Sophomore reliever Peyton McCann (Midlothian, Va./James River) was the pitcher of record in game two, after he allowed five runs (two earned) on four hits with two walks in 1.2 innings of work. Devereux made his second appearance of the day and gave up one unearned run in the eighth.

Striplin went 4-for-6 for the Falcons with an RBI, five runs and three walks, while sophomore right fielder Noah Handy tallied four hits on the day.

Junior reliever Cameron Reid took the loss in game one after allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. First-year lefty Slayton Fletcher was the winning pitcher in game two. He tossed the final 1.2 innings and allowed no runs on one hit with no walks and a strikeout.

The Generals tallied 25 hits between the two games and have yet to finish a game with less than 10 hits through their first six games. Pfeiffer notched 23 hits on the day, including 13 in game two.

The Generals will return to the diamond on Sunday to complete their three-game series against the Falcons, with first-pitch at 1:00 pm.

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