WINGATE, N.C. – The Lions lost a double-header to Wingate in South Atlantic Baseball action Saturday afternoon at Ron Christopher Stadium. Mars Hill lost both contests in the last inning by a single run. The Lions dropped the first contest 6-5 and then fell in the nightcap. 4-3. Mars Hill is now 5-15-1 overall and 2-7 in the conference. The Bulldogs took their season record to 18-5 on the season, 7-2 in the SAC.
Game 1: WU 6, MHU 5
Mars Hill lost the first game 6-5. Shomarii Thomas led the Lions at the plate going 2-for-4 with a homerun and two RBI. Daniel Vitello followed going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Fausto Turro took the loss (0-3) on the mound for the Lions pitching the final inning in relief. Alec Bivins threw the first eight innings allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters.
McCann Mellett led the Bulldogs offensively going 4-for-5 with a homerun, two doubles three runs scored and the same number of RBI. Tanner Forry was 2-for-5 with a homerun, a double and three RBI. Alex Rodriguez obtained the win (4-0) pitching the final two innings in relief. He allowed only one hit and struck out three batters.
Thomas led the second inning off with a homerun to left field to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. A homerun down the right field line by Mellett tied the contest at 1-all in the bottom half of the second inning.
Vitello doubled to right field in the seventh inning to drive in Thomas and Josh Hall and give the Lions a 3-1 advantage. Mars Hill extended their lead to 5-1 in the eighth frame on two hits and one Bulldog error. Christian Stampler had an RBI single in the at-bat.
After scoring only one run in the bottom of the eighth inning, Wingate exploded for four runs on three hits to pull out the victory. Mellett hit a two-RBI double and the Forry hit a two-run homerun to seal the win.
Game 2: WU 4. MHU 3
Cody Cline was one-for-two with two RBI to lead the MHU attack in game two, while Vitello also drove in a run for the Lions.
Mars Hill jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, with Cline's two-run single getting the Lions on the board.
Wingate answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Forry started it by connecting on his second homer of the day, a solo shot to left to cut the lead in half. Brown followed with a solo homerun to right to make it 2-2.
Mars Hill retook the lead in the fourth when Vitello drew a bases-loaded walk, making it 3-2.
In the games' final at-bat, Zach Little started the bottom of the seventh by drawing a walk. Brett Branton followed with a bunt single down the first base line, while a sacrifice from Justin Guy put runners on second and third with one out. A popout got the second out of the inning, while Mellett was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs for Schneider who lined a 1-0 pitch to left field, just dropping in front of the MHU left fielder, allowing Little and Branton to score and give the Bulldogs the 4-3 victory.
Josh Karklin got the win, moving to 2-0. He worked a shutout inning in relief without allowing a hit. Mike Ramunno took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings in relief, striking out two to fall to 0-1 on the season.
Mars Hill will host Limestone on Tuesday, March 13. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.