The Bulldogs played in the first series of conference play this weekend. They hosted Virginia Intermont for a double header on Saturday and a single game on Sunday. The Bulldogs won all three games to start out conference play with a 3-0 record.
The Bulldogs came from behind to win 6-5 in Saturday's first game and held on to take game two, 8-6. Troy Graybill got off to a rocky start in the first game, giving up a single, double and three walks to the first five batters he faced as the Cobras took a 3-0 lead. Wesleyan got a two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a Johnny Smith single, Ryan Santos' double that was lost in the sun by the VI centerfielder and an error. Graybill settled down and allowed only one more run after a leadoff double in the fourth, but Wesleyan still trailed 4-2 going to the fifth. David Lindsay singled, Kurtis Bramlett walked and Max Loveland singled to load the bases. Johnny Smith's sacrifice fly got a run home, Cody Gaskill singled to reload the base and Santos doubled to put TWC on top 5-4. Wesleyan added a run in the sixth on a walk and singles from Max Loveland and Johnny Smith. Loveland came on to pitch the seventh and gave up three hits while recording one out as the Cobras closed the gap to 6-5, but had the tying run thrown out at the plate before a game-ending flyball. Graybill got the win, allowing four runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks over six innings. Loveland and Smith each had three of Wesleyan's 11 hits while Santos added two. Santos had three RBIs and Smith two.
Wesleyan built a 7-1 lead through five innings in the second game before starter Jason Crowell ran into problems in the sixth when VI struck for five runs against the senior righthander and reliever Jason Ferguson. The Bulldogs scored two in the first on Loveland's single, a double by Santos and a groundout. Brad Pippa's single, an error and groundout plated a run in the second. Leading 3-1, Wesleyan added three runs in the third on singles from Cody Gaskill and Brad Pippa and doubles from Ryan Santos and Rafael Carlot. Wesleyan made it 7-1 when Carlot singled and Pippa doubled in the fifth. After the Cobras' five-run sixth, TWC added an insurance run on a hit-batsman and Gaskill's double. Daniel Wood closed out the win with a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out one. Crowell picked up the win, allowing six runs on 11 hits while striking out five and walking two. Wesleyan again had 11 hits with three each from Gaskill and Pippa and two from Carlot. Pippa collected three RBIs, Gaskill and Santos two each.
On Sunday, four Wesleyan pitchers combined on a six-hitter while the Dogs banged out 15 hits in a 10-1 victory. A walk, error and sacrifice fly gave TWC a 1-0 lead in the first and Carlot homered to lead off the second for a 2-0 advantage. Wesleyan took control of the game with a five-run third frame. Ryan Santos and Brad Pippa singled in front of Rafael Carlot's RBI double. With two outs and the bases loaded, Max Loveland doubled home two runs and Johnny Smith singled for two more runs. VI's only run came in the sixth before Wesleyan added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to close out the scoring. Eight Bulldogs had hits, led by Pippa with three. Loveland, Smith, Carlot, McElroy and Bramlett added two each. Loveland, Smith and Carlot each had two RBIs. Matt McCracken picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk over six innings. Ronald Phelps, Drew Housewright and Matt Brennan each pitched one inning of scoreless relief.