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The Bulldogs took their first conference loss this weekend in the first game of the 3 game AAC series at Bluefield College. Tennessee Wesleyan is holding on to the lead in the conference at 11-1, three games ahead of Bryan College. The Bulldogs fall to 28-8 overall.
In the first game, Josh Cullers blanked the Rams over the first five innings, allowing just three hits, walking one and striking out five. Wesleyan took a 4-0 lead in the third with all the scoring coming after two were out. Thomas Sicking was on base with a single when Anthony Boix reached on an error, scoring Sicking. Stephen Branca walked and Jake Stone delivered a run-scoring double. Taylor Oldham closed out the scoring with a two-run single.
Cullers ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing three runs on three hits before Corey Collins came on to get the final two outs. Collins got the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but then gave up a single before two errors on an infield grounder allowed two unearned runs to score, handing Bluefield the 5-4 win. On the play, the ball bounced off a Wesleyan player into the outfield then a wild throw to second came to rest against the fence behind first base as both runners circled the bases.
Wesleyan had only six hits, one each from Anthony Boix, Jake Stone, Taylor Oldham, Jordan Guida, Dale Ricketts and Thomas Sicking. Cullers went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, struck out five and walked one. Corey Collins took the loss, surrendering two unearned runs on three hits.
The Bulldogs played errorless ball in the second game of the day behind Jeremy Fitzgerald, who went the distance, allowing just three hits, while striking out four and walking one. Wesleyan had only four hits through the first five innings, all singles, and the game was scoreless until the sixth.
Stephen Branca reached on an error and Jake Stone was hit by a pitch. A wild throw on Taylor Oldham's groundout scored Branca. Jordan Guida singled and Dale Rickett's sacrifice fly gave TWC a 2-0 lead. Wesleyan closed out the scoring in the seventh on a hit-batsman, error and Stephen Branca's two-run single.
Wesleyan again had just six hits, led by Jordan Guida with two. Stephen Branca had one hit, two RBIs, run scored; Jake Stone one hit, run scored; Taylor Oldham one hit and Thomas Sicking one hit, run scored.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs defeated Bluefield 9-4. Dale Ricketts knotted the score at two with a solo home run in the fourth. Stephen Branca untied the knot with a three-run homer in a four-run seventh and the Bulldogs added three more runs in the eighth.
Travis Burnside led the 14-hit Wesleyan attack with three hits, an RBI and run scored. Jake Stone had two hits, two RBIS, run scored; Branca two hits, three RBIs, run scored; Drew Levi two hits, two runs scored and Sicking with one hits, RBI and two runs scored.
Corey Rhoney went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits, while striking out six and walking two. Zach Fleshman gave up one run on one hit with four strikeouts and one walk in 2 2/3 innings of work.
The Bulldogs travel to University of Virginia at Wise on Wednesday for a single 9 inning game at 3:00 pm. Tennessee Wesleyan returns to AAC action playing newcomer Point University on Friday at 6:00 pm and then a double header on Saturday at 12:00 pm.