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VMI, Temple, Louisville, South Florida, and UNCW pick up wins


VMI 6 Liberty 5 (16 innings)

LYNCHBURG, Va.– A.J. Yoder’s single up the middle plated Brian Sandridge with the winning run in the 16th inning as VMI defeated Liberty 6-5 on Saturday evening in Big South Conference action at Worthington Stadium.

With the game knotted at four from the ninth inning on, the Keydets (20-18, 10-4 Big South) grabbed a 5-4 advantage in the 15th, when Sam Roberts scored on Mike Roberts’ single through the right-side of the infield.

The Flames (18-19, 7-4 Big South) knotted the game in the home 15th, when Keydet reliever Travis Smink, working his eighth inning of relief, was charged with his lone run of the game. Garrett Young scored on Aaron Grijalva’s double down the left field-line to send the game to the 16th.

Sandridge led off the 16th with a base knock and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt laid down by Jordan Ballard. Yoder delivered his second hit of the game, his first since the second inning, on a 2-1 pitch from Flame reliever Andrew Wilson (1-2). The Keydets threatened for more in the 16th, loading the bases before Steven Evans escaped by inducing a groundout by Sam Roberts.

Chris Duty (4-0), who recorded the final two outs of the 15th in relief of Smink, worked a 1-2-3 16th inning to collect the win in his first outing since the Keydets’ last 16-inning game, coming less than two weeks ago when VMI defeated Radford 3-2.

“What an unbelievable night tonight for us,” said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry after the Keydets scored their first win in Lynchburg since 1995. “A.J. (Yoder) came through with the big knock when we had to have it, and I just can’t speak highly enough of the job our guys did to stay into it for 16 innings again.”

The contest was the longest in Liberty’s program history, and once again tied VMI’s school record for the longest game.

A three-run second inning gave the Flames an early lead off of Keydet starter Trey Barham. LU added another run in fourth, when David Giammaresi, who homered to lead off the second, scored after a lead off double.

The Keydets, who had been shut out for the first 15 innings of the series, broke loose in the seventh, when Mike Roberts connected for a three-run home run to cut the margin to 4-3 off of LU starter Dustin Umberger.

“Umberger looked great tonight for them, and I felt like they pretty much had the game in hand with the way he was pitching,” said Ikenberry. “I can’t speak highly enough of Mike Roberts’ at bat when he hit the three-run home run.”

VMI rallied in the ninth, when Sandridge’s single into left field with the bases loaded, plating Thane Smith. Sam Roberts then tried to score on the play, and was thrown out on an accurate throw to the plate from Doug Bream in left field.

Barham and Umberger each worked seven innings in their starts, with Barham allowing four runs on seven hits, while Umberger allowed three runs on nine hits. Smink threw 7.1 innings in relief, allowing one run on five hits, striking out five.

“I think that Trey Barham pitched well, even though he didn’t have his best stuff,” said Ikenberry. Travis Smink pitching 7.1 innings was phenomenal. He just kept going and going, and said that he felt good the whole way. Then Chris Duty came in late in the game and had a great outing after not being on the mound for a couple of weeks.”

Mike Roberts drove home four of VMI’s six runs with two swings of the bat, going 2-for-8. Sam Roberts and Sandridge each went 3-for-8 for the Keydets. Each of the three tied VMI’s school record for single-game at bats, set by Sandridge two weeks ago.

The Keydets and Flames play the rubber game of the weekend set on Sunday at Noon. The contest will be broadcast on Lexington’s WREL 1450 AM and online at

Temple 14 Duquesne 11

AMBLER, PA (4/19/08) – Sophomore Matt Heltz (Garyville, LA / St. Charles Catholic) went 5-for-5 with six RBI and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh to lead Temple past Duquesne, 14-11, on Cherry and White Day on Saturday at Skip Wilson Field. The victory propels the Owls (19-17, 10-4) into a tie for second place in the Atlantic 10 and just one game back of league-leading Charlotte.

“I thought our team had a tremendous, never-say-die attitude,” head coach Rob Valli said. “I’m just really proud of the effort we gave today and it makes tomorrow even more important.”

The Temple offense recorded a season-high 18 hits, including seven for extra-bases, in front of a big crowd in Ambler, who enjoyed the festivities of the day, which included the annual spring football game. Heltz had a career-high three doubles and tied his career-high with six RBI, set last season at George Mason on May 2, 2007.

Senior Mike Kelch (Annandale, VA / WT Woodson) had three hits and knocked in three, while freshman Byron McKoy (Charlotte, NC / Independence) had three hits, including a two-run homer to straightaway center field. Juniors Jamie Abercrombie (Ambler, PA / Hatboro-Horsham) and Sean Barksdale (Glenolden, PA / Cardinal O’Hara) both had two hits for Temple.

The Owls tied the game at 9-9 with three runs in the fifth, two coming on McKoy’s blast to center. Abercrombie followed with a triple and scored on Barksdale’s single to center.

Temple took its first lead of the game in the sixth on Kelch’s RBI single that plated Heltz after his third and final double. Duquesne tied it up at 10-10 in the seventh on a pinch-hit double by Mark Tracy, but the Owls opened it up in the bottom of the inning.

Freshman Steve Nikorak (Stroudsburg, PA / Stroudsburg) led off the inning with a double and Abercrombie (walk) and senior Tom Dolan (Bensalem, PA / Archbishop Ryan) (hit by pitch) loaded the bases with one out.

A strikeout gave the Dukes the second out, but Heltz, who was already 4-for-4 at the time, lined a two-run single to left to put TU ahead 12-10. Kelch’s single to right was misplayed into a two-base error, allowing Dolan and Heltz to cross the plate to open up the largest lead of the game for the hosts.

Senior Arshwin Asjes (Willemstad, Curacao / Cheverus-ME) allowed an earned run in the ninth but closed the door by striking out the final two batters of the game. Sophomore Ryan Thomas (Aliquippa, PA / Center) picked up the win after allowing an earned run in three innings. He improved to 2-1.

Duquesne opened up the scoring with four runs in the first, but the Owls answered with three in the bottom of the frame. Heltz had a two-run double and Kelch drove in one with a single in the inning.

The Dukes made it 7-3 in the second, but Heltz’s second two-run double in as many innings cut it to 7-5. DU added single runs in the third and fourth to make it 9-5, but the Owls outscored the visitors 9-2 the rest of the way.

Eric Morrison had two hits and knocked in four for Duquesne. Lawrence Anderson (2-1) received the loss after allowing four earned runs in two innings.

The Cherry and White won for the fifth time in its last six games, including four straight in league play. Temple’s 19 wins and 10 league victories are the most since the Owls won 23 games and 10 A-10 contests in 2004.

With a victory by Charlotte, the 49ers moved into sole possession of first place with an 11-3 A-10 record. Temple and Duquesne are tied for second, one game ahead of Xavier (9-5)

The series concludes on Sunday at 1 PM.

Louisville 12 Villanova 1

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville offense continued its hot streak, pounding out 16 hits in support of sophomore Justin Marks brilliant eight innings, to lift the Cardinals to a 12-1 win over Villanova.

Louisville (22-14, 7-6 BIG EAST) has won seven of eight, including four straight, and has hit double figures in the hit column for the ninth time in ten games.

Marks, who improved to 4-1 on the season, equalled a career-best with eight innings, striking out a career high nine, allowing a run on four hits and two walks.

After a scoreless first, the Cards sent nine to the plate in the second inning, with the first five scoring runs.

Jeff Arnold and Stewart Ijames hit consecutive singles and Phil Wunderlich squared to move the runners over with a sac bunt and was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Drew Haynes and John Dao each singled home runs, Josh Richmond hit a sacrifice fly and Justin McClanahan hit an RBI groundout before Chris Dominguez’s RBI single closed the inning with a 5-0 lead.

Ijames drilled a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right center for his second home run of the season, a solo shot with one out in the third, making it 6-0.

With two out in the fourth,, McClanahan doubled and scored on an RBI single by Dominguez, who was in turn brought home on an RBI double by Andrew Clark for an 8-0 lead.

After a one-out single by VU (17-20, 4-10 BIG EAST) shortstop Derrick Shunk in the first, Marks retired the next 13 in order, including a 1-2-3 second, third and fourth.

Shunk homered to left center with two away in the Wildcat sixth for their only run of the game.

Clark wrapped his second double of the afternoon opening the seventh, Arnold singled and Nate Holland drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases for Wunderlich, who smoked a two-run ground-rule double down the left field line. Haynes then hit a sac fly to left, making it 11-1.

Marks responded by retiring the side in order in the seventh and facing the minimum in the eighth when a one-out walk was erased by Arnold, nailing Joe Cotter at second trying to steal.

A leadoff walk to McClanahan turned into the final run of the game when Dominguez singled and Tyler Mickits rolled an RBI groundout to second.

Matt Lea gave up a leadoff single in the ninth and then struck out the side to end the game.

Bill Hoffman (3-1) took the loss as the VU starter, giving up eight runs on 11 hits and a walk in four innings, striking out two.

Dominguez was 3 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored to lead the 16-hit attack, extending hit streak to a career-best 11 games. Clark, who was 2 for 4 with two doubles, has now hit safely in 10 straight.

McClanahan, Ijames, Arnold and Wunderlich also had multi-hit efforts.

South Florida 6 Rutgers 4

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The University of South Florida baseball team earned back-to-back wins over Rutgers with a 6-4 victory over the Scarlet Knights Saturday in New Jersey. USF won the first game, Friday night, 7-5.

USF, who was in sole possession of seventh place in the BIG EAST prior to the game, improves to 20-18 on the season and 8-9 in conference play. Rutgers drops to 13-21-1 overall and 5-9 in the league.

With USF up 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth, senior David Torcise entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs. Torcise got ahead in the count with a first-pitch strike, then fell behind, tossing a trio of balls. The RU batter skied Torcise’s 3-1 pitch to shortstop to end the ballgame. Torcise now has a win and a save for the Bulls this season.

“That is the kind of situation you dream of as a kid,” said Torcise. “I was pretty nervous up there, but I had to keep that deep down inside of me. I could hear everyone from both teams yelling at me. I heard our team telling me to get the job done. I just tried to focus on not trying to place the ball, but focus instead on throwing the ball. All I did was just throw it, and he got himself out.”

Freshman starter Randy Fontanez improved to 3-3 with four strikeouts in seven innings. He allowed three runs from six hits while walking two in his ninth start. Fontanez faced only three batters in the odd-numbered innings, starting with two strikeouts and a fly out in the first inning.

“I felt good out there today, I was just trying to throw strikes and let them get themselves out,” said Fontanez. “I had a lot of support behind me today and it was nice having the offense score for us.”

Eight of USF’s nine starters collected a hit, three of which picked up doubles. Bulls batters produced leadoff hits in the first five innings, with four singles and a double. USF posted 14 hits in the game, which is the fifth time this season the Bulls have tallied 14 or more.

Freshman Ryan Lockwood was 3-for-5, scoring one run and extending his hitting streak to 21 games. The three base hits are the fourth time he has collected a trio of hits during his streak.

Junior Addison Maruszak also tallied three hits, with a pair of singles and an RBI double in the fifth.

After being held scoreless through two innings, USF warmed up by scoring one in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth. In the mean time, Rutgers picked up one in the fourth and a pair in the sixth. With two outs in the ninth, Rutgers loaded the bases and scored one, but Torcise shut the door on the Scarlet Knights.

To begin the scoring, Junior Trey Manz put a ground rule double over the fence in the corner of right field to lead off the third, then moved to third on a sac bunt by freshman Jonathan Koscso. Maruszak grounded out to shortstop, scoring USF’s first run of the game.

An inning later, Lockwood and senior Joey Angelberger started the fourth with consecutive singles, then freshman Stephen Hunt sent a base hit into center field to score the pair.

The fifth began with five hits and a sac bunt that scored three runs. Koscso singled up the middle, then Maruszak doubled to right, scoring Koscso. Junior Brandon Smith moved Maruszak around with a sac bunt, then a double down the left line by Angelberger plated Maruszak. Lockwood’s one-out single up the middle scored Angelberger, giving USF the five-run edge.

Rutgers scored a pair in the sixth to close the lead to three, 6-3. USF threatened to score in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with a single and a pair of walks, but was unable to plate any runners. USF stranded eight runners throughout the game.

USF and Rutgers will take the field at 11 a.m. Sunday for the weekend finale. Listen to the Bulls and Scarlet Knights live on 1010 Sports as well as USF Press Pass Baseball Radio, with Garrett Walvoord handling the call.

Following the three-game BIG EAST series in New Jersey, USF travels to Boca Raton, Fla., on April 22 to wrap up its six-game stretch on the road. The Bulls and Owls battle at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, then USF returns to Tampa to host Stetson at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.

UNC-Wilmington 13 Delaware 5

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Senior Mark Caver drove in four runs and senior Jason Appel had three hits as No. 29 UNC Wilmington evened its Colonial Athletic Association baseball series at Delaware with a 13-5 win on Saturday at Hannah Stadium.

The Seahawks improved to 17-2-1 in the league and 28-8-1 overall while the Blue Hens fell to 13-23 and 6-11.

UNCW banged out 16 hits for the second straight game and has reached double figures in hits in each of its last seven outings, raising its team batting average from .308 to .319 in that span. Senior Daniel Hargrave was one of five other Seahawks to have at least two hits, including his career-high 13th homer of the season.

UNCW Junior Brad Holt (6-1) picked up the win in a duel against another highly-touted righthander in Delaware junior Mike McGuire (4-4). Holt fanned six in 6 1/3 innings and walked just one. McGuire, meanwhile, was roughed up for 10 runs on 10 hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Senior Justin Barefoot, who would later homer for the third time in five games, doubled to left to plate senior Nate Hall, who singled with one out, and give UNCW a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

UNCW added to its lead with a 2-run single off the bat of Carver. A walk to Hargrave and a single through the right side by Appel started the inning with one out. A balk moved both runners up for Carver, whose check swing single landed in short right field for a 3-0 advantage.

Barefoot struck again leading off the fourth, hitting the first pitch he saw over the right center field wall for a 4-0 lead. Later in the inning, UD intentionally walked Appel to load the bases with two out, but McGuire hit Carver to force in the second run and Hall drew a walk to cap the scoring and give UNCW a 6-0 lead.

UNCW batted around for the second consecutive inning, hanging a 5-spot on the scoreboard for an 11-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back homers by Hargrave, a 3-run homer, and Appel highlighted the inning.

Junior Ryan Reed’s lead-off homer in the fifth pulled the Blue Hens to within 11-1.

Freshman Pat Dameron doubled in three runs in the bottom of the seventh as the Blue Hens moved to within 12-4. Junior Kyle Davis plated the fourth run with a double inside the third base bag to make it 12-5 and knock Holt out of the game. Relievers Larry Salefsky, a senior, and sophomore Kyle Lewis combined to close out the inning.

A pair of errors led to an unearned run for the Seahawks in the ninth as UNCW extended its lead to 13-5.

Lewis retired seven of the eight batters he faced to close out the win.

The series concludes on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start.

Notes: UNCW has 50 hits in its last three games … Daniel Hargrave belted his career-high 13th homer of the season, breaking his previous high of 12 set as a sophomore … Bobby Leeper extended his hitting streak to a career-long 10 games … Every starter had at least one hit for the Seahawks … Kyle Lewis has allowed just one run, unearned, in 7 1/3 innings this week, all in relief … UNCW is 25-1-1 when leading after six innings.

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