RALEIGH, NC (March 20) – On Monday, Saint Augustine’s University rallied late to edge Lincoln (Pa.) University 7-6 after trouncing the Lions 15-2 in a CIAA baseball doubleheader at Lions Park. The victories give the Falcons a 3-1 edge over the Lions in the four-game series which started Sunday, March 19.
The Falcons (12-17 overall) are currently second in the CIAA standings at 3-1 and the Lions (5-12 overall) are third at 1-3. The series was originally scheduled in Lincoln University, Pa. on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday but both teams agreed to play locally after the snowstorm blanketed the East Coast last week.
After winning the first game easily, the Falcons pulled out a victory in dramatic fashion in the second contest. Down 6-5 with two outs and bases empty in the seventh, the Falcons found a way to score twice for a one-run lead.
Michael Keels (Sr./Manning, SC) started the rally with a single through the left gap and reached third on a wild pitch and steal. The Lions walked Corey Brassington (Sr./Raleigh, NC) which placed Falcons on third and first base.
The Falcons tied the game when Keels scored on a wild pitch. Brassington moved to second on the wild pitch and scored the eventual game-winning run on a single by Johnathan Sierra (So./Raleigh, NC). Kilvio Garcia (So./Bronx, NY) held the Lions scoreless in one inning of relief to earn the save.
Keels was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Brassington scored three runs for the Falcons, who had six hits. Hector Pichardo (So./Dominican Republic) gained the win after pitching effectively for 2.2 innings.
The Falcons scored the game’s first run in the first inning when Keels scored on a wild pitch. The Lions grabbed a 3-1 lead in the same inning which held up until the fourth inning when the Falcons plated three runs for a 4-3 lead. Keels scored on a throwing error after stealing third base, Brassington scored on a sacrifice fly by Amilcar Yanez (So./Venezuela) and Sierra stole home for the Falcons’ three runs.
The Lions scored two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to regain the lead at 6-4. Alexis Garcia (Sr./Maracaibo, Venezuela) scored Brassington on an RBI double to get the Falcons within 6-5 in the sixth inning and set up the thrilling conclusion in the seventh.
Brendan Sherman-Johnson had two RBIs for the Lions, who had five hits. Yasser Ortiz, who threw the final three innings, was the losing pitcher.
The second game was a stark contrast from the first contest. The Falcons set the tone in the first inning, scoring three runs for a 3-0 lead. Garcia scored Brassington on an RBI single and Tim Carter (Sr./Lumberton, NC) blasted a two-run home run over the right field fence to score himself and Alexis Garcia.
The Falcons continued to pour it on offensively the rest of the way. They took a 5-0 lead in the second inning when Collin Pippin (Fr./Garner, NC) scored Ruben Pinero (R-Jr./Bronx, NY) on an RBI single and Sierra scored Pippin on a sacrifice fly.
The score was 9-0 in the third inning when Pippin scored Carter on an RBI single and Keels scored Pichardo on an RBI groundout. Carson Davis (So./Oakboro, NC) and Pippin also scored when Sierra and Alexis Garcia advanced on bases-loaded walks.
After the Lions scored their only two runs in the third inning, the Falcons tacked on two runs in the fourth inning when Pippin scored Pichardo and Pinero on a two-run single for an 11-2 lead.
The Falcons increased their lead to 15-2 in the sixth inning. Pinero scored on Keels’ fielder’s choice and Keels scored on an RBI single by Alton Brown (Fr./Durham, NC). Alexis Garcia finished the scoring with a two-run single which scored Brown and Brassington.
Pippin was 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and two runs scored for the Falcons, who finished with 11 hits. Alexis Garcia was 2-for-4 with four RBIs and one run scored and Carter was 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Keels and Sierra each recorded two RBIs and Pinero scored three runs.
Yanez overpowered the Lions bats for the pitching victory. He scattered seven hits and struck out 12 batters while walking none in seven complete innings.
Joshua Roberson collected the Lions’ only RBI. Orlando Roberson suffered the loss after pitching the first 2.2 innings.
The Falcons will step outside the conference later this week to host Bluefield State College at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The games have tentatively been moved back one day to Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 with game times at 1 p.m. and approximately 3:30 p.m.