WISE, Va. – UVa-Wise took advantage of four Bluefield College errors to score four unearned runs en route to an 8-3 series deciding victory on Sunday. Brett Hylton and Kirk Jennings each hit opposite field homeruns in the victory as the Cavaliers kept hopes alive for securing a Mid-South Tournament berth.
UVa-Wise (10-18, 6-9 MSC) fell behind 2-0 as Bluefield College (15-21, 5-13 MSC) scored single runs in each of the game's first two innings. The Rams scored an unearned run in the opening frame prior to Kahlin Villines lining an RBI double to plate Christian Burton. The second run was also unearned, Burton had reached base on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the inning.
The Cavs tied the game in the fifth inning as Chaz Hall and Steven Allen each had a single RBI. Hall scored Michael McCollum on a groundout to start the scoring and Allen tied the game on a double to left-center scoring Ty Lighton.
An inning later, Hylton followed a Tommy Meier single with an opposite field two-run homerun to give UVa-Wise a 4-2 lead.
The Rams would cut the lead to a single run in the visiting half of the seventh inning on an RBI groundout by Zach Russell-Myers. Villines scored on the play after he led off the inning with a walk.
The Cavs would put the game out of the reach in the bottom of the inning as Hylton had a two-RBI hit and Tyler Hutson had an RBI single to stretch the lead to five, 7-3.
Kirk Jennings added a homerun in the eighth inning to give UVa-Wise the winning margin of 8-3.
Mat Irish earned the victory on the mound by tossing six innings. The freshman allowed four hits, one earned run, struck out two and walked three to improve to 4-3. Ryan Ward notched his first save of the year after tossing 2.2 innings of perfect baseball, the senior struck out one.
UVa-Wise will return to play on Wednesday when the team plays host to Milligan College for a doubleheader starting at 5:00 p.m.