SENATORS TAKE TWO OF THREE FROM BOBCATS

Josh Kehr delivering a strike. (Courtesy Ron Gooden)

ELKINS, WV-

The D&E Senators baseball team entered the weekend series against WV Wesleyan with their backs against the wall in hopes of earning a spot in the WVIAC baseball tournament.  With inclement weather approaching Saturday both teams took the field hoping to get the doubleheader played.

Game one started out well for the home team as they would score two runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.  Senior Brenton Kopecek led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a balk by Bobcats pitcher Andrew Ornes.  Two batters later, Junior Matt Barr delivered an RBI double to left field scoring Kopecek with the first run.  Barr would score later in the inning after an Eric Doyle double and a single by Lance Vannoy.

Pitcher Josh Kehr held the Bobcats scoreless through the first two innings allowing his team to jump out to a 3-0 lead.  The Bobcats would answer, though, in the top of the 3rd with a 3-run HR by Mark Darlington that would tie the score at three.  The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 7th inning as both pitchers did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance.

With two outs and Kyle Crist at first base, Doyle delivered his second double of the game allowing Crist to score all the way from first with the game winning run.

Kehr picked up the victory to pick up his third win of the season.  On the day, he had 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB. 

Offensively, the Senators were led by Brad Banzhoff who was 3-for-3 with a 2B and 3B.  Eric Doyle ended the game 3-for-4 with 2 2B and an RBI.  Brenton Kopecek was 2-for-3 with a 2B and a run scored.

As game two got underway, the rain clouds began rolling through Elkins.  The game would be halted in the middle of the 4th due to the rainfall with the intent of starting it at this point Sunday afternoon.

The restart of the game, however, was met with controversy as Bobcats head coach Randy Tenney claimed to not have agreed to a halted game before start of play on Saturday.  The game was concluded under protest by WV Wesleyan.

The Senators picked up the 9-2 victory in the protested game. 

Before the game was halted, the Senator bats jumped out to a 6-run lead, scoring five in the 2nd and one in the 3rd.  Wesleyan would score two runs in their half of the 4th before the rains put a stop to the action for the day.  With the Senators leading 6-2, the game was halted by the umpiring crew.  As play resumed Sunday afternoon, the Senators picked up where they left off, scoring three more runs in the bottom of the 4th to put the game away.

Senior LHP Zach McElroy picked up the win going all seven innings over the two days.  He gave up just two unearned runs on four hits while walking four and striking out four.  His 98 pitches were broken down to 65 on Saturday and 33 on Sunday.

Catcher Eric Doyle finished the game going 2-for-3 with a 2B, 3-runs, and 2 RBI.  Freshman Lance Vannoy went 2-for-3 with a run.  Drew Ford was 2-for-4 with a run and 2 RBI.

The final game of the 3-game series didn't start off well for the Senators as Wesleyan plated three unearned runs against starter Tripp Staley.  The Senators would battle back scoring a single run in the 3rd and one in the 4th to cut the lead to 3-2.  Wesleyan would score three more in the 5th to build a 6-2 lead.  Again, the bats of D&E would scratch and claw to score single runs in the 7th and 9th innings.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough as Wesleyan took the win 6-4.

Lance Vannoy went 2-for-4 with a run scored.  Brad Banzhoff was 2-for-3 with a run scored.  Matt Barr connected for his 8th home run of the season in the 9th inning.

Staley worked 4 1/3 innings giving up 6 runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out five in taking the loss.

The Senators have two more games left against Bluefield State at Harpertown Field on the Allen Athletic Complex next Saturday, May 5th beginning at 1:00 pm.