Suffering a disappointing 10-5 loss in Saturday's opener of a three-game Appalachian Athletic Conference series at Bluefield College, Tennessee Wesleyan College bounced back to sweep Sunday's doubleheader 8-4 and 6-4 in eight innings. With seven conference games remaining, the Bulldogs (32-13 overall) are 15-5 in the AAC, one-half game behind Union (31-12, 16-5) which won two of three game this weekend at third-place Milligan (26-14, 14-7). Bluefield (28-12) remains in contention in fourth place at 12-8.
In the nine-inning game Saturday, Bluefield erupted for eight second-inning runs off starter Justin Crowell and Wesleyan could never recover. Crowell (7-3) went eight innings, allowing 10 runs on 14 hits while striking out three and walking four. Max Loveland was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Rafael Carlot was 2-for-4 with a double, triple and RBI.
On Sunday, Wesleyan scored three runs in the first inning and built a 5-1 lead after three innings. Hamilton Bennett (5-1) went the distance, surrendering four runs on 10 hits while striking out six and walking one over seven innings. Carlot paced the Bulldogs' 14-hit attack, going 3-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Loveland was 2-for-3, run scored, RBI; Johnny Smith 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, two RBIs; Cody Gaskill 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, RBI; Brad Pippa 2-for-4, RBI and Andrew Tharpe a home run.
In the second game, Wesleyan plated four first-inning runs, but did not score again as Bluefield rallied and knotted the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Following a scoreless seventh, TWC put up two runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win. Matt McCracken started for the Bulldogs, allowing four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. Troy Graybill got an out and Jason Ferguson an out to end the sixth. Daniel Wood tossed a scoreless seventh to earn the win and Loveland collected the save with a 1-2-3 8th. Wesleyan had just five hits. Loveland was 2-for-4 with a run scored, RBI; Smith 1-for-3 with a double, run scored and RBI and Pippa 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
The Bulldogs travel to Martin Methodist on Wednesday, April 21st and then play at home this weekend. The Bulldogs play Covenant College starting on Friday at 2:00 pm and then a double header on Saturday at 1:00 pm.