Monson drives in go-ahead runs, Generals top Bridgewater, 6-5, in comeback fashion

Ryan Monson

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – A three-run ninth inning completed the Washington and Lee baseball team's comeback effort in its 6-5 ODAC win over Bridgewater on Wednesday.

With the game tied, 3-3, entering the top of the ninth inning, W&L (13-15, 7-10 ODAC) senior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) and sophomore third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) led off with consecutive singles. After a pitching change, junior right fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) put the Generals ahead for good with a two-run double down the right-field line.

Senior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) capped the three-run ninth with an RBI single up the middle to cushion the W&L lead to three runs.

The Eagles (12-20, 6-11 ODAC) made their attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, as the first three batters of the frame reached base, including a run-scoring single from junior shortstop Jacob Talley. Junior first baseman Luke Paczewski then hit a sacrifice fly to center to trim the Generals' lead to 6-5, but senior closer Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) got the next two hitters to strike out and fly out to end the game.

Trailing by a score of 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Monson was hit by a pitch with one out and scored two batters later on a two-run home run from Loewenberg to tie the game at three runs a side.

The Eagles struck first in the game, courtesy of a two-run single up the middle from senior catcher Cameron Stanley in the bottom of the first inning. Bridgewater then added a run to its lead in the next inning when Talley drove in sophomore center fielder Jacob Grabeel on a ground out to second.

The first W&L run came home in the top of the fourth on an RBI ground out to second off the bat of Monson.

Jones, Monson and Loewenberg all collected two hits for the W&L offense. Jones and Monson scored twice each, while Monson and Loewenberg both drove in three runs. For both Monson and Loewenberg, it was their third three-RBI game of the season.

Devereux (3-0) earned the win as he pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Senior reliever Andrew Earvolino (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) tossed a career-high seven innings in relief and allowed one unearned run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. It was the second straight game that a W&L reliever pitched seven innings, after Devereux reached that mark in Saturday's game two win over Virginia Wesleyan.

Sophomore Nate Cohen (Atlanta, Ga./North Springs) worked 0.2 innings between Earvolino and Devereux, allowing one hit but recording both outs via strikeout. Junior Kenneth Hartzfeld (Marietta, Ga./Westminster School) earned a no decision as the starting pitcher after allowing two runs on two hits with three walks.

Bridgewater first-year second baseman Jarrett Biesecker went 5-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored to lead the Eagles' offense, with one of his hits going for two bases. Stanley logged a pair of hits and two RBI, while Grabeel went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

Senior Andrew Berry pitched the first seven innings of the game for Bridgewater and allowed three runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Senior reliever Ryan Mason (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work. First-year Brett Tharpe and senior Sam Imeson combined for the three ninth-inning outs, allowing one run on two hits.

The Generals will return to action on Thursday, when they travel to Marymount (Va.) for a 1:00 pm matchup, their final non-conference game of the regular season.

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