HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Though Eastern University started off the game with two runs in the first inning, it was a defensive battle until the both teams found their bats midway through the game. Starting pitcher Mike Blanchard (Roanoke, VA/Roanoke Catholic) was solid through five innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits.
The Tigers were held scoreless while recording just one hit in the first three innings of play. In the bottom of the fourth, however, Hampden-Sydney got on the scoreboard as Justin Hebert (Richmond, VA/Hermitage) led off the frame with a double. Three batters later, Dalton Renick (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) scored Hebert with an RBI single. Beau Flinchum (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Nick Caporale (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) to tie the game at 2-2.
Eastern responded with a two-out rally in the top of the fifth with two runs to take the 4-2 advantage.
Hampden-Sydney fired right back in the bottom of the inning with five runs via five hits. Caporale hit a clutch double that drove in three runs. He was later rewarded and scored on a Renick double. The hitting continued as Flinchum drove home Renick with a double of his own.
Eastern continued the scoring in the top of the sixth, putting up one run to cut the Tiger lead to 7-5. The offense continued as Hebert recorded his second double and first RBI of the day.
After a scoreless eighth, the game was called as the sun went down. Hampden-Sydney now improves to 7-3 on the season while taking a 2-1 mark in the Fourth Annual Floyd B. Wilcox Memorial Tournament.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action Tuesday, February 22, as it hosts University of Maine-Presque Isle at 3:00 pm.