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Tigers Claim ODAC Tourney Berth with Split Against Bridgewater

 Jordan Wind

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Rookie pitcher Zach Whitaker (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry) threw his second complete game victory in four days to help lift the Tigers to a 4-1 victory against Bridgewater. Bridgewater took the second game, but the win in game one was enough to put the Tigers in the 2012 ODAC Tournament. Hampden-Sydney now stands at 13-25 overall and 8-10 in ODAC play, and the Eagles are 27-12 overall and 12-6 in conference.

Though Bridgewater took the initial lead in game one with a Zach Hynes solo homerun in the second inning, Hampden-Sydney took its lead in the bottom of the third. With two outs, the Tigers got four consecutive singles from Jordan Wind (Tappahannock, VA/Essex), Patrick Kuhns (Stafford, VA/North Stafford), Jeff Gray (Newport News, VA/Menchville), and Erick Herrmann (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) to take a 2-1 advantage.

The Tigers tacked on an insurance run in the fifth as Gray batted in Wind with a sacrifice fly. Hampden-Sydney struck again in the seventh; Christian Hamlett (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) started the action with a triple and was later batted in on a Kuhns RBI-double.

Whitaker picked up the win after allowing just one run on eight hits. He struck out five and walked two.

As a team, the Tigers tallied nine hits to Bridgewater's eight with Wind and Kuhns each recording two hits.

Starter Robert Gallet took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings.

In between games, the Tigers were able to honor their seven seniors: Zeb Cope (Advance, NC/Davie County), Mikey Riva (Los Angeles, CA/Wildwood), Wind, Allan Brownell (Herndon, VA/Herndon), Nick Caporale (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin), Herrmann, and James Shahayda (Virginia Beach, VA/Bayside).

Runs were hard to come by in the second game with the Eagles scoring one in the second, and Hampden-Sydney scoring one in the fifth as Spencer Wiles (Belmont, NC/South Point) batted in Brian Collins (Montpelier, VA/Patrick Henry).

The Eagles reclaimed their lead in the seventh, scoring two runs to go up 3-1.

Wiles batted Collins in for the second time in the bottom of the inning to pull the Tigers within one at 3-2, but it was not enough as Bridgewater added one more run in the ninth and took the 4-2 victory.

The Tigers used seven pitchers, but Billy Nixon (Sedley, VA/Southampton) took the loss, allowing two unearned runs on no hits and three walks. As a staff, Hampden-Sydney allowed six hits.

Wiles went 1-for-3 and batted in both runs and Collins went 0-for-3 but scored both of the Tigers' runs.

Bridgewater won behind Dillon Via who allowed one run on two hits in two innings. Kevin Chandler was perfect for the final two innings and picked up the save.

Hampden-Sydney will resume play in the ODAC Tournament beginning Thursday, April 26 at Lynchburg City Stadium. Seeds, times, and opponents will be released soon.

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