The Bulldogs played in a double header on Friday against Covenant College. The single game for Saturday was postponed until Monday due to inclement weather. After the series was completed on Monday the Bulldogs came away 2-1. The Bulldogs swept the double header winning 7-4 and 8-3 but lost in the single game on Monday 9-8 in 13 innings.
Thanks to a base-running blunder that led to a double play, Wesleyan starter Justin Crowell blanked Covenant over the first three innings of the first game. TWC would have only 10 hits in the game, but six of them came in a five-run third. Designated hitter Freddy Lewis started the rally with leadoff home run. C.J. McElroy and Max Loveland singled, both scoring on a hit by Johnny Smith. Cody Gaskill and Ryan Santos followed with RBI singles and Wesleyan led 5-0. A two-run homer put Covenant on the board in the fourth. Wesleyan got those runs back in the fifth on Smith's single and Carlot's two-run shot to left. Covenant plated two more runs in the sixth, but Wesleyan escaped further damage by throwing a runner out at home to end the inning. Crowell (9-3) went the distance despite allowing 10 hits walking one and hitting two batters while striking out six. The Bulldogs also had 10 hits (by eight different players with eight of them singles), led by Johnny Smith who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
In the second game of the double header, Smith singled and Carlot homered to give TWC a 2-0 first-inning lead. Like Crowell, Hamilton Bennett shut out Covenant over the first three innings before allowing a two-run homer in the fourth. Gaskill and Carlot hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth for a 5-2 advantage. In the sixth, Wesleyan opened some breathing room thanks to a two-out error. A walk followed and Loveland slammed a three-run homer to left. Jason Ferguson relieved Bennett to start the seventh and gave up a run before getting a strikeout and two ground balls to end the game. Bennett went six innings, surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out five and did not walk a batter. Ferguson gave up a run on one hit, walked one, hit one batter and struck out one. Loveland was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Gaskill was 2-for-4 with a double and home run and Carlot 2-for-4 with two home runs.
The series with Covenant continued on Monday with what should have been a 9-inning game but when the score was tied at 6-6 the game continued until the 13th inning. Both teams scored one to make the game 7-7 in the 11th inning. In the 13th, Covenant was able to score two runs and hold the Bulldogs to the one run homer hit by Cody Gaskill. McCracken got off to a rough start, giving up two first-inning runs on a walk, sacrifice fly and solo home run. Max Loveland's lead-off double led to a Wesleyan run in the bottom of the inning, but Covenant plated two more runs in the third on four singles to take a 4-1 lead. Wesleyan finally managed to put a rally together in the fifth. With one out, C.J. McElroy walked, Loveland singled and McElroy scored on an error. Cody Gaskill then hit a three-run homer and Rafael Carlot followed with a solo shot to put TWC on top 6-4. Covenant threatened to retake the lead in the sixth, but got only one run when Loveland made a running, leaping catch in left centerfield for the third out, leaving the bases loaded with Scots. Aided by an error, Covenant scored again in the seventh to knot the game at six. Wesleyan's four innings of frustration followed. Gaskill singled, but was left at second in the 7th. David Lindsey and McElroy were stranded after singles in the 8th. Gaskill singled and Carlot was hit by a pitch in the 9th while McElroy singled and Loveland doubled in the 10th, but all were left on base. Ferguson had relieved McCracken with one out in the 8th and retired nine straight batters before giving up a one-out single in the 11th. Following an intentional walk, Daniel Wood came to the mound to strike out two batters, but issued an intentional walk and bases-loaded pass in between to put the Scots in front 7-6.Gaskill's leadoff double and Brad Pippa's one-out single in the bottom of the inning retied the score at seven. In the 13th, Wood gave up a walk and Ronald Phelps came on in relief. Catcher David Lindsey threw the runner attempting to steal second, but Phelps walked a batter and gave up three straight singles before getting out of the inning with Covenant leading 9-7. In the home half, Gaskill homered with two outs, but Carlot's drive to extend the game again was hauled in at the fence in centerfield. Gaskill was 5-for-7 with two home runs, a double, five RBIs and three runs scored. McElroy was 3-for-4 with two walks in six at-bats and Loveland was 3-for-7. Pippa and Lindsey added two hits each. McCracken went 7 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on 13 hits while striking out fiv, walking two and hitting one batter. Ferguson surrendered one run on one hit, struck out three and walked one. Wood pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit, fanning three and walking four (two intentional). Phelps took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits, struck out one and walked one.
The Bulldogs travel to Montreat on Thursday, April 29th to finish the series started on March 27th that was postponed due to rain. Then Wesleyan travels to UVA-Wise on Saturday for a double header at 1:00 pm and a single game at 2:00 on Sunday.