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No. 11 baseball salvages split in first doubleheader vs. USC-Lancaster

February 13, 2016

LANCASTER, S.C. — The No. 11 ranked NJCAA, Division II Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) baseball team opened its season Friday (Feb. 12) with a doubleheader split against Region X, Division I USC-Lancaster.

The Patriots dropped Game 1, 9-5 before erasing an early three-run deficit in winning Game 2, 7-6 to salvage the split. The win in the second game handed the Lancers their first loss of the season after sweeping defending Region X, Division II champ Catawba Valley Community College in four games last week.

PHCC’s starting pitching was touched up in both games, but Game 2 starter, sophomore Yashuan Santiago (Puerto Rico), earned the win despite giving up five runs over four innings. Game 1 starter, sophomore Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va.), took the loss in the opener, allowing seven earned runs in four innings of work.

“We did a good job of bouncing back and getting one on the board,” PHCC first-year coach Frank Jagoda said. “We stuck with our approach at the plate and were able to drive some baseballs.”

The Patriots (1-1) got the offense going in Game 2 with a five-run, third inning which helped erase a 3-0 deficit. Sophomore Jonah McReynolds (Martinsville, Va) went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored to highlight the offense. Fellow sophomore Kelvin Marte (Richmond, Va.) also added a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 and two RBI. Freshman Cody Powers (Mechanicsville, Va.) drove in a pair in the win, as well.

PHCC’s bullpen was able to lock down the Lancer offense over the final two innings. Sophomore Miguel Lopez (Coral Springs, Fla.) earned the save by tossing three innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and walking three. The Lancers stranded a total of nine runners in Game 2.

In Game 1, USC-Lancaster (5-1) used a five-run, first inning to start the day. The Lancers jumped on Maynard from the get go as the sophomore struck out nine and walked two while scattering 11 hits. Freshman Daniel Willcutt was able to use the early runs to his advantage to earn the win despite giving up five earned runs and 10 hits over five innings. Three of those runs came in the sixth as Willcutt started the inning but couldn’t finish it.

Marte hit a pair of home runs in the Game 1 loss and finished the day with six RBI. Powers, Ryan Coale (Lexington, Va.), Aaron Nanney (Gastonia, N.C.), joined Marte with multi-hit games in Game 1. The Patriots totaled 20 hits over the two seven-inning games.

“We are going to have to command the one a little better to sustain the success we are looking for,” Jagoda said of the team’s pitching going into Games 3 and 4. “There is no doubt in my mind these guys will come out and compete and have an opportunity to win the series.”

Freshman Parker Brann (Leasburg, N.C.) will get the start in the opener Saturday (Feb. 13) and will be followed up in the series finale by sophomore Anthony Zona (Mechanicsville, Va.) as the teams conclude their four-game series at 1 p.m.

Filed under: Baseball

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