WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University baseball team won its fourth game of the season in dramatic fashion Saturday at Hoy Field against Emerson College. The Bison came from behind to win 7-6 in 10 innings, earning both their first extra-inning victory and their first one-run win of the season.
The Bison (4-6) fell behind early, ceding a one-run lead to the Lions (0-9) in the top of the first, who came out searching for their first win of the season. GU starter Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) quickly rebounded, however, to shut out Emerson over the next three innings as Gallaudet's bats heated up in the warm winter sun to score four runs over the same span on RBI hits by four different Bison.
Smith had a strong performance as he pitched 7.1 innings and allowed five runs (two earned) on eight hits, walked two and recorded two strikeouts.
Despite a 4-1 Bison lead heading into the fifth, Emerson racked up four unearned runs over the next four innings on the heels of two GU errors. Including one earned run, the Lions took a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning as Gallaudet left six runners stranded while scoring none. Freshman Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.) stemmed the Emerson offensive outburst as he pitched 1.1 innings of effective relief as he allowed one unearned run, walked one, hit two batters and tallied a strikeout.
The bottom of the ninth looked to be more of the same as Emerson quickly netted two outs following junior William Bissell's (Brewer, Maine) leadoff walk. However, the buff and blue refused to quit as senior Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) stood at the plate with two outs and two strikes. He then smashed a two-run home run to left field to tie the game as the game moved to extra innings.
Junior Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) contributed on both sides of the ball, he kept Emerson off the scoreboard through the top of the 10th inning then led-off the bottom half of the inning with a four-pitch walk. Freshman utility player Brad Stockdill (Charlotte, N.C.) pinch ran for Crace and quickly took second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) kept the rally going by drawing a walk with no outs. Stockdill then got caught in a run-down between first and third, while Bensman smartly took second on the play. Senior Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) then flied out to right field for the second out as the Bison faced a similar position, once more, with a runner in scoring position. The Bison rally caps worked as Bissell hit a hard grounder off the third baseman's glove as Bensman rounded third and raced home, beat the throw, and slide safely across home plate to earn the walk-off win.
Crace (2-1) earned the win as he allowed one hit and one walk in a scoreless 1.1 innings of relief. The Bison were powered by three hits a piece by Magsig and fellow freshman Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) as well as a two-hit, two-run, two-RBI performance by Adams including the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.
First baseman Zach Dean led the Lions with three hits in four at-bats including two doubles and a triple. He also scored two runs and knocked in one run, while the other six hits were scattered amongst six different Lions. Though Sammy Evers threw the first four innings as he allowed four runs on eight hits, it was Andy Brightman (0-2) who took the loss for Emerson. Brightman logged 5.2 innings where he permitted three runs (two earned) to score, walked five and tallied two strikeouts.
The Bison will next travel to Maryland's Eastern Shore and face nationally ranked Salisbury University (6-2), ranked No. 7 in Division III, tomorrow (Sunday, March 10) for a doubleheader that begins at noon.