WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University baseball team swept Valley Forge Christian College with two convincing wins on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon at Hoy Field. The Bison (4-3) took the first game of the doubleheader, 25-1, followed by a one-hit shutout win, 18-0, as both games lasted seven innings.
Senior catcher Casey Hicks (Las Vegas, Nev.) hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, home run) in the first three innings of the first game. For his first hit of the cycle, Hicks knocked the ball to deep right-center field, resulting in an inside-the-park grand slam in the first inning. Hicks would lead-off the second inning with a single and bat a second time in the 11-run inning. In his third at-bat of the game, he blasted a bases clearing triple to right field to bring home three more runs. He completed the third cycle hit in Division III this season, according to D3baseball.com, with a RBI double down the right field line. He later scored Gallaudet's 20th run as the Bison led the overmatched Patriots, 20-0, after three innings of play. Hicks was lifted after the third inning as he finished his day 4-for-4, eight RBI and four runs scored.
Senior starting pitcher Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) pitched the first five scoreless innings of the opening game and allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six. The Patriots (0-2) pushed across a run in the top of the sixth inning.
In the second game, freshman starting pitcher Ian Evans (Murphy, N.C.) threw five scoreless innings and only allowed a single to left field in the second inning. Evans (1-0) walked one batter and struck out a season high eight batters.
Junior second baseman Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) combined to go 4-for-9 in the doubleheader with a double, six runs, four RBI and walked three times. Freshman Justin Strong (Charlotte, N.C.) was 5-for-8 with two doubles, five runs, five RBI and one walk. Smith finished 3-for-8 at the plate, scored five runs, drove in three runs, walked three times and stole three bases. Senior Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) batted three times in the first game and went 2-for-2 with a double, triple, walk and scored three times and picked up two RBI. Freshman Matt Taylor (Auburn, Kan.) had two doubles in the second game as he went 4-for-5, three RBI, two runs and a walk. Freshman shortstop Blake Phillips (Dalton, Ga.) swung well at the plate as he finished 7-for-10 in the two games combined and scored three runs and five RBI.
The Bison will play their first away game tomorrow (Sunday, March 2), as they travel to Shenandoah University (5-0) for a tough in-region game at noon.