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Baseball: LWC splits season-opening twin bill

Kingsport, TN - At Dobyns-Bennett High School, the Lindsey Wilson baseball team opened its 2023 season with a non-conference doubleheader featuring the University of Rio Grande (OH) and (RV) Milligan University (TN).

The Blue Raiders needed a late surge to knock off the Red Storm in the opener but struggled offensively to end the day against the homestanding Buffaloes.

Game One | Lindsey Wilson def. Rio Grande, 9-8 (7 Innings)
Entering the seventh inning of Saturday afternoon's first outing, the locals trailed their opposition 8-5. This deficit came after Lindsey Wilson had led by as many as three runs midway through the game.

In the top half of the deciding frame, Jonathan Gallagher led things off with a single through the left side and was quickly advanced 90 feet off a subsequent single by Sam Gage. After a passed ball allowed the two runners to move up a base each, Michael Sizemore triggered the rally with an RBI-single into left field, scoring Gallagher.

Two batters later, Jordan Blick popped a sacrifice fly to straight-away center, allowing Gage to trim the Storm lead down to one run. Then, following an intentional walk to Chance Stayton, Lucas Bault stepped up and delivered the go-ahead two-run single to ultimately give the Blue Raiders the win.

The clutch connection by Bault was Lindsey Wilson's tenth of the contest, and it made him the seventh different batter to record a hit for the victors. Sizemore, Stayton, and Gallagher each produced a team-high two hits.

Rio Grande opened the scoring in the bottom leg of the first inning, but the Blue Raiders did not take long to knot the score a 1-1 behind an infield miscue by the Red Storm to plate Cody Fallon.

Lindsey Wilson grabbed its first lead of the day in the fourth frame courtesy of a pair of home runs from Austin Rayno and Stayton. However, a crooked five-run half-inning by Rio Grande in the bottom of the fourth restored the Storm's advantage to 6-4.

A solo long ball by Blick in the sixth cut Rio Grande's lead in half, only for it to come right back in the form of a two-run stamp by the Storm in their next plate appearance.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders kept a clean record with zero errors.

Jonathan Phipps earned his first win of the season after working through the final one and a third innings while surrendering one run on one hit and retiring two on strikes.

Game Two | (RV) Milligan 7, Lindsey Wilson 0 (7 Innings)
The hosts of this weekend's tournament posted three runs in the first inning and four in the third en route to a seven-inning shutout of the Blue Raiders.

Milligan's defense showcased a solid effort, and the pitching rotation allowed just one hit and three total base runners.

Blick notched Lindsey Wilson's lone hit in the top of the sixth frame, singling into right field. The hit wound up setting up the locals with two bodies on the base paths, but the Buffs needed only a routine ground out to avoid any damage.

On the mound, Cohen Achen recorded eight strikeouts across four innings to highlight his first start of the year. Gannon Herring and Riley Monheimer entered in relief for the Blue Raiders and each fired one complete inning.

Lindsey Wilson concludes its opening weekend on Sunday morning versus Indiana University South Bend. The single contest with the Titans is slated for 10amCT at TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City.

This story was posted on 2023-02-05 09:17:00
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