WINGATE, N.C. – The Mars Hill baseball team dropped a 7-3 decision to conference rival Wingate on Friday evening at Ron Christopher Stadium. The Lions dropped to 10-11 overall and 1-3 in the league, while the Bulldogs improved their record to 13-9 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
Six different players tallied a hit for the Lions offense, while Daniel Vitello and Brett Brubaker recorded one RBI each. Andrew Llewellyn went 3-for-4 from the dish for the Bulldogs and six players contributed a RBI in the win.
The Bulldogs struck first, scoring three times in the first two innings. Micah Goodwin and Andrew Llewellyn tallied RBI singles in the first inning to give Wingate a 2-0 lead and an error followed by a lazy double to right center in the second inning plated the third run of the game.
Wingate took advantage of a missed opportunity by the Lions in the top of the third and pushed its lead to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the home half of the third. The big blow coming off the bat of Joseph Mason, who connected on a double to center field to plate the two runs.
Down 5-0 and needing to get something going offensively, the Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth. Vitello started things after he reached on an error by the first baseman. Brett Brubaker followed with a single and Christian Stampler was hit by a pitch. The Lions plated a run, but sacrificed two outs to do so as a groundball was turned into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Lions loaded the bases for the second time in the top of the fourth as Matt Honeycutt and Harrison Keslar earned back-to-back walks. Unfortunately, a swinging strikeout sent the game into the bottom of the fourth with the Bulldogs leading 5-1. Mars Hill cut into the WU lead once again in the top of the fifth, scoring a pair of runs. Sacrifice flies by Vitello and Brubaker trimmed the deficit to 5-3.
Bradley Brown produced a RBI single and Austin Turgeon added a sacrifice fly for Wingate in the bottom of the sixth to give the Bulldogs a 7-3 advantage, which ended up being the final count.
Zac Brown (1-2) was issued the loss after throwing 6.0 innings and giving up six runs on 10 hits. Brandon Donahue improved to 5-2 on the year, taking the win after pitching 7.0 innings and allowing only one earned run and five hits.
The Lions and Bulldogs will conclude the three game series with a pair of games tomorrow. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.