SALISBURY, N.C. - The Mars Hill baseball team (3-2) picked up two victories over West Virginia State (0-4) Saturday afternoon, taking game one 14-10 and coming from behind in game two to seal the sweep with a 5-2 result.
GAME ONE: MHU 14, WVSU 10
The Lions entered the fourth inning trailing 4-1 when they began their comeback bid in game one. Daniel Vitello's RBI double cut the lead in half and later scored on an error to pull within one run. Mars Hill took the lead in the top of the fifth off of a Matt Honeycutt two-run home run and extended their lead to 7-4 in the sixth as Vitello scored on a balk and Jordan Lathe scored off of a wild pitch.
Mars Hill tacked on four more runs in the top of the seventh. Brett Brubaker launched a two-run home run to put the Lions up 9-4. Harrison Keslar drove in Gray McCurry on a fielder's choice and a Lathe RBI single gave Mars Hill a seven-run led entering the eighth. McCurry added a RBI double in the top of the eighth.
The Yellowjackets scored four in the bottom of the eighth to pull within four runs. After scoring off of a balk, a two-run double hit by Mathew Kline pulled West Virginia State within five. Kline later scored off of a Connor Slagill infield single.
Devin Mangum added two insurance runs for the Lions with a two-run home run to right field. In the bottom of the ninth, the Yellowjackets scored twice, but were unable to comeback and fell by a score of 14-10.
Brubaker and McCurry each had three hits in the contest. The quartet of Mangum, Honeycutt, Brubaker and Keslar each had two RBI.
Luke Kimrey earned his first collegiate win, striking out five in five innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Hunter Bradley was credited with the loss, giving up six runs on six hits in 5.1 innings pitched.
GAME TWO: MHU 5, WVSU 2
Following four scoreless innings, the Lions entered the bottom of the sixth trailing 2-0. Gray McCurry's RBI single kicked off a five-run Lions' inning. With the bases loaded and down 2-1, Daniel Vitello's double to center cleared the bases and gave Mars Hill the lead late, 4-2. Harrison Keslar added a RBI single that plated Vitello.
Coming in for the save opportunity in the top of the seventh, Hunter Burnette sealed the deal, pitching a 1-2-3 inning that included two groundouts and a strikeout.
The Yellowjackets struck in the first inning as Ryan McDonough plated two with a single to right field. They threatened to add to their lead in the top of the second with runners on second and third and two outs, but the Lions were able to get out of the situation by forcing Connor Slagill to fly out to right field. West Virginia State attempted to steal home in the top of the third, but was picked off on the attempt.
The Lions pitching, headed by Troy Hall, did not allow another base runner after the third inning.
Hall pitched six strong innings, striking out nine and allowing two runs on five hits. Burnette picked up his first save of the year.
The Lions return to the diamond on Sunday, February 10th when they face Catawba in non-conference action. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.