PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville baseball team was finally able to return to the field and open conference play, walking away with two wins in a three-game weekend series at Bluefield College.
The Bears are now 2-1 in the Mid-South Conference after Saturday’s 9-8 win and a split on Sunday, falling in the opener 6-5 before winning the nightcap 11-8.
UPike is now 7-8 on the season and the 2-1 record in the Mid-South Conference has it tied for third with St. Catharine College. The Bears return to action on Wednesday when they host Alice Lloyd at 3 p.m. at Johnnie LeMaster Field. This weekend’s league series begins Friday when Cumberland University comes to town.
Bears 9, Rams 8: Pikeville took an 8-0 lead after 1-½ innings after posting three in the first and five in the second. The Rams, however, scored in four straight innings and had trimmed it to 8-7 after five.
An insurance run came in the seventh and was needed when Bluefield matched it in the eighth, but the Bears closed them down in the ninth for the win.
Junior Bryan Bradley and freshman Andy Gumm led the Bears with two hits and two runs each. Gumm had a double in the win. Senior Corey Adams had a pair of hits as well while both scoring and driving in a run.
Freshman Erik Manning had a hit while driving in two and scoring one, while senior Pat O’Brien had a single and two RBIs. Juniors Sean Ryan, Brad Andrews and Chaz Conteras all had a single and an RBI.
Senior Mike Rappazzo got the win, going the final 4.2 innings. He allowed three hits and an unearned run while striking out three and walking one.
Rams 6, Bears 5: Bluefield scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to gain what would prove to be its only win of the series.
Wright and Gumm each went 2-for-4 with a double; Wright drove in a run while Gumm scored once. Manning and O’Brien each had a double, a run scored and an RBI. Bradley doubled and scored while Conteras had a single and an RBI.
Freshman Logan Sales was the pitcher of record for the Bears, going two innings with three strikeouts and a pair of walks while allowing two earned runs.
Bears 11, Rams 8: A five-run top of the seventh gave the Bears the series win in the finale on Sunday.
Wright had a two-run home run for the Bears while Manning had three hits, including a double and a triple while scoring twice and driving in a pair. Andrews had two hits, a run scored and an RBI, while Ryan, Gumm, O’Brien, Conteras and senior Adam Overbay each had singles. Overbay scored twice and drove in a run, while Gumm scored and Conteras delivered one.
Junior Zach Sutherland went six innings for the win, allowing eight hits and seven runs, four of which were earned. He fanned two. Rappazzo allowed an unearned run in the seventh.