Category Archives: Baseball

Wingate Baseball continues great season with doubleheader split at Anderson

JT Stokes, Staff Writer

The 22nd nationally ranked Bulldogs rolled over the Anderson Trojans in a 13-2 victory in game one of Sunday afternoon’s South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader at Anderson University, but the Trojans took game two in a 5-4 victory to claim the three-game SAC series. The Bulldogs are now 30-11 overall and 14-7 in the SAC.

Game One: Wingate 13, Anderson 2

Ty Andrus led off the game with a double, then scored on Mellett’s RBI double. Brown’s RBI single gave the ‘Dogs a 2-0 lead. A walk and Andrus single put two on for Mellett in the second, which gave Wingate a four-run lead with a two-run single backside.

 

Sophomore McCann Mellett had a huge game, going four-for-five with three doubles, five RBIs and two runs scored to push the Wingate offense. Juniors Tyler Schneider and Zach Little both added an RBI and scored two runs, while seniors Brett Branton and Ty Andrus combined for five hits and five runs scored. Senior Bradley Brown went a perfect three-for-three with a homer and three RBIs, while freshman Jed Bryant added a homer and two RBIs.

 

Bradley Brown connected on his 10th home run of the season on a two-run shot to give the Bulldogs a six-run lead in the sixth.

 

Wingate scored seven times in the seventh inning to go up by 13. A lead-off double from Branton and a Zach Little RBI single started the scoring for the Bulldogs. A Mellett two-run double and Schneider RBI double made it 11-0. Bryant hit a two-run homer to end the scoring giving Wingate a 13-run advantage.

 

Right-handed pitcher Austin Turgeon goes to 5-2 on the year with another win. He allowed only three hits and allowed only one run in seven innings, striking out three and walking three.

 

Game 2: Wingate 4, Anderson 5

William Thomas had a big day for the Anderson offense with a double and two RBIs in game two. Dillon Carpenter drove in a run for the Trojans, and Chandler Castleberry and Brandon Odachowski each added a hit and an RBI.

 

For the Bulldogs, junior catcher Micah Goodwin went two-for-three with a homer and two runs scored and Mellett was two-for-four with a double to lead the Bulldogs. Branton and senior outfielder Trent Wynn each added an RBI in game two.

 

Anderson scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning to push them past the Bulldogs. Three straight singles loaded the bases, with an Odachowski RBI single getting the Trojans on the board. Thomas tied it with a two-run double, while a Carpenter sacrifice fly and a Castleberry RBI single gave Anderson a 5-3 lead.

 

Christian Hendrix got the win, allowing two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings, moving to 2-1. Matthew Stanley worked 1 1/3 innings for his fourth save of the year, allowing a hit and striking out three. Junior right-hander Lane Wildman took the loss, falling to 2-2. He allowed two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.

 

Leading the NCAA DII in wins, the Bulldog offense has looked very sharp this season, averaging 7.5 runs per game. The team has an on base percentage of .400 and a fielding percentage of .950.

 

With his 45th career home run, slugger Bradley Brown moved into 2nd place all-time in Wingate Baseball career home runs. He is the first Bulldog in school history with 10 or more homeruns in 4 straight seasons. He is also top 10 in SAC history in home runs, RBIs and walks.

 

The offense has also had a huge spark from junior outfielder Tanner Forry with 14 home runs on the season leading the SAC. Senior outfielder Ty Andrus leads the SAC in stolen bases with 19.

 

Wingate is back in action Wednesday, traveling to USC Aiken for a 6 p.m. start.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Bulldog baseball ready to bounce back

Kyle Brodt, Staff Writer

Wingate baseball looks prepared to challenge for its first SAC title since 2015. Last year, Wingate finished the season at 19-31 and 10-14 in the SAC. This year, however, the Bulldogs have started the season hot, winning their first four games including a three game sweep over Concord last weekend.  

On opening day against Concord (W. Va.), Wingate was able to secure the 18-5 win behind power hitting from junior Tanner Forry and sophomore McCann Mellett. Mellett had a grand slam while Forry made his presence felt in his Bulldog debut with a pair of home runs, racking up six RBI.

Forry comes in as a transfer after two years at Harford Community College (Md.) Manager Jeff Gregory expects him to be a big contributor throughout the spring. “I think he will bring another added presence to our lineup that will help us score runs.” Forry is showing no signs of slowing down so far, batting .308, scoring seven runs, and, on the defensive end, adding an outfield assist through only four games.

The pitching staff had a rough season last year, posting a team ERA of 5.58 while opposing batters hit a sky-high .301 off Bulldog arms. Wingate also lost one of their best performers in Kory Behenna. Behenna was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round of the MLB draft and had Wingate’s lowest individual ERA with at least nine appearances as well as being the team’s leader in saves.

However it seems the Bulldog pitchers have only gotten better with the team ERA down to a 2.38 clip as well as some stellar starts from senior Jimmy Doolittle and junior transfer Nick Stegman.

Doolittle started the finale to the three game series against Concord, and pitched 6.1 innings of two-hit, shutout baseball. He also posted seven strikeouts against just one walk. Doolittle was one of those pitchers that had a tough going last season.

Doolittle had an ERA of 5.25 in 2017 and only started one game. Coach Gregory, however, believes that Doolittle’s work ethic is key to his newfound success. “Jimmy has worked extremely hard at being in great physical shape,” Gregory says, “He has been dedicated to working on all areas of his game.”

Stegman wouldn’t be outdone for top debut performance by teammate Forry, as he took a perfect game through five innings before giving up just one hit in six innings of work. Stegman transfers in from Hagerstown Community College (Md.) and looks to be the midweek starter throughout the 2018 season.

After such dominant performances early on, Gregory believes that the staff, “Can keep it going all year long.”

Other major pieces of the squad include preseason All-SAC selection Ty Andrus. The senior outfielder led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, doubles, and runs in 2017. So far, he is picking up right where he left off batting .313 with six runs scored.

Junior infielder Zach Little has also impressed early, leading the team in batting average through the four games and holding down the first base position defensively. When asked about any other specific names that might have an impact, Gregory instead referenced the overall depth of the team. “There are a lot of guys that could find themselves in big spots throughout the season that will help us achieve our goals.”

With such a blistering start and wide range of contributors, there is no doubt those goals start with a SAC championship and end as far as the newly reinvigorated Bulldogs can go.

The Bulldogs will travel to St. Augustine, Fla. this weekend for games against Flagler, Valdosta State and Florida Tech.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

 

Hall of Fame inductions spark controversy

Shane Rich, Staff Writer

As a new set of inductees swing their way into the Hall of Fame this year, the controversy over whether players such as Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens should be inducted is stirring. Should they be taken more seriously in this vote, or do they deserve to strike out?

The MLB Hall of Fame requires a player to get at least 317 votes in favor (a total of 75 percent of the voter’s support per ESPN.com article Baseball Hall of Fame adds four new members) to be inducted. This year’s graduating class consists of former Braves 3B Chipper Jones, Expos/Angels DH Vladimir Guerrero, Padres RP Trevor Hoffman, Twins 1B/3B Jim Thome, Tigers SS Alan Trammell and SP Jack Morris. Trammell and Morris were inducted through the Modern Baseball Era Ballot, while others were through the Baseball Writers Association of America Ballot.

Shifting focus back on to Bonds and Clemens, Bonds had a total of 238 votes (56.4 percent) and Clemens with 242 votes (57.3 percent) in this year’s vote. Players who were inducted such as Jones and Thome has 97.2 and 89.8 percent of the vote respectively. The former non-steroid using Mariners DH Edgar Martinez also got 70.4 percent of the vote to be inducted this year, which was only 4.6 percent away from induction. (Baseball Hall of fame adds four new members)

Due to his clean track record, Martinez deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame before Clemens or Bonds. Otherwise, Bonds and Clemens were on a level of dominance during their time of play that is Hall of Fame worthy, but the use of performance-enhancing drugs still pose an issue.

When a player takes a performance-enhancing drug as Bonds and Clemens did throughout their careers, this gives them a clear advantage over their competitors. However, if they did not run into this issue of steroid use, they would be first-year inductees in my book.

It is a shame that Bonds especially holds the record for most home runs in a single season (73), most career home runs (762) and the most walks (2558) and hasn’t been inducted because of his steroid use. It is also a disappointment that Clemens with his 7 Cy Young’s and 1 MVP award hasn’t been inducted for the same reason. Both players are tainted by their history and would have been an easy choice for the Hall of Fame if no steroids were taken.

Even without the drugs, Bonds and Clemens would have been Hall of Fame worthy players. People make mistakes, ones that they definitely regret. To hold all of Bonds and Clemens mistakes against them and prevent their induction to the Hall of Fame would be unfair.

These record-breaking baseball legends do deserve their spot in Cooperstown along with those who were inducted this year, but not at the expense of clean players who deserve to be elected as well. Ultimately, if the election of Bonds or Clemens prevented players like Edgar Martinez or another baseball great with a clean track record from being inducted, I would say that is unjust. If not, I see no issue with voting in two of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

 

 

Wingate Baseball helps to fight cancer one swing at a time

Brandon Bowles, Staff Writer

On Wednesday May 3rd Wingate University Baseball was able to give back to the community by partnering with the Levine’s Children’s Hospital. As of 2014, 15,780 children and adolescence from ages one to nineteen suffer from cancer. Those that lose their battle with cancer are a little less than 2,000 in the United States.

To do their part, the baseball team decided to host a Homerun Derby that anyone willing to donate to the Levine’s Children’s Hospital could participate in. $20 was the entry price for athletes and $10 for non-athletes.

To make things fair, portable fences were brought in one for the guys and one for the girls. Each participant was given five outs to hit as many homeruns as possible. Baseball players had to hit the ball over the normal outfield fence for it to count as a homerun, whereas the guys had to hit it over the second closest fence from home plate and the girls the closest fence from home.

Once everyone got their chance to swing the top eight were selected to move on to the next round. Those participants were Rebekah Woods with eight homeruns, Naomi Sapp with six, Reece Daniel with five, Bub DeLuca, Tyler Napierala, Bradly Brown, Kemper Patton, and Brandon Donahue with four. There would be four head to head matchups to see who would make it to the semifinals and the winners of the semifinal match would make it to the finals.

In the quarter finals Woods would oust Sapp with 11 homeruns, Daniel would hit one to oust Donahue, Brown would oust DeLuca with four homeruns and Patton would oust Napierala with four. In the semifinal round, Woods and Daniel went ont to the finals after beating Brown and Patton respectively.

By this time both players were tired and did everything they could to muster the energy for one more round. When Daniel went first, you could see the fatigue in his eyes. He went through his batting routine and prepared himself for the first pitch.

Knowing that he is setting the bar he hits the second pitch out of the park followed by another one. He then proceeded to make two consecutive outs followed by another homerun followed by another out. On his second to last swing, he kept the ball fair giving him four total for the round.

Woods, on ther hand, knew what she had to hit four to tie five to win. As she stepped to the plate, she took the first pitch like Daniel. She swung at a pitch that didn’t quite make it out, giving her one out.

Then on the third pitch she hit the ball over the fence and followed it with another,, giving her two for the round. She made another out on the next pitch following it with back-to-back homeruns. At the end of the round both players were tied meaning that they would go to a swing off.

In a swing off both batters got a chance to take one swing and if both players fail to hit a homerun the process is repeated. The swing off happened twice with Woods taking the title of Homerun Derby Champion.

In the end, it was not about who hit the most homeruns it was about giving back and helping those that are fighting for their lives.   

Photo Source: Wingate Baseball Twitter

Edited by: Brea Childs