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Washington & Lee baseball picks up doubleheader sweep of Averett in season opener for both sides

Washington and Lee University baseball started its season with a double-header sweep of Averett in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon …

DANVILLE, Va. — Washington and Lee University baseball started its season with a double-header sweep of Averett in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon.

Washington & Lee escaped with a narrow 3–2 win in Game 1 before cruising past Averett 13–3 in the closer.

The Cougars entered the bottom of the sixth inning of the opener facing a 3–1 deficit. Sophomore Brandt Brophy got the frame started with a walk and promptly stole second base before reaching third on a wild pitch. Brophy came home on senior Brandon Hatcher’s RBI ground out to short that closed Averett’s gap to one with one out.

Washington & Lee reliever Ashwin Sures induced a strikeout for the second out and appeared to have gotten out of the jam with another strikeout, but freshman Kevin Zischke reached on the passed third strike, keeping the inning alive. Senior Jason Maggs kept the rally going when he was hit by a pitch, but Sures eliminated the threat with a fly out to left field to end the frame.

Averett (0–2) had a chance to knot the score in its half of the seventh when junior Nolan Maccabe worked a two-out walk and moved to second on a steal. He reached third courtesy of a wild pitch, but Sures got a strikeout to end the threat.

Washington & Lee starter Jack Cope got the win on the bump, throwing five innings of one-hit, one-run ball while striking out three in the process. Suresh got the save, recording two innings of no-hit, one-run ball while striking out three and walking two.

Zach Perkins, Chapin Bassi and Mitchell Salvino each recorded RBIs for the Generals.

Averett starter senior Avery Spicer scattered six hits and three runs while striking out nine in six innings. Graduate student Kyle Lamantia closed out the seventh, setting down all three batters he faced.

Washington & Lee (2–0) got the early jump when Salvino slugged a solo home run to left in the top of the second to give the Generals a 1–0 edge.

The Generals doubled down on their lead in the fifth when Perkins and Bassi each smacked RBI triples to make it a 3–0 game heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Senior Nate Tuck drove in the Cougars’ first run of the season in the bottom of the fifth with his single through the right side that plated senior Jason Maggs and made it a 3–1 contest.

Hatcher and Tuck led Averett with an RBI apiece in the opener.

Game 2 wasn’t quite as close as the Generals broke open a three-run contest with a four-run, top of the fourth. Ethan Zulueta got the rally going with his RBI single up the middle and Perkins increased Washington & Lee’s advantage to six with his two-run triple to left-center. Bassi closed out the big inning with his run-scoring base knock to center that made it 7–0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

The Cougars got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the seventh to avoid the shutout. Freshman Caden Grider reached on a lead-off error and Tuck earned a base the hard way when he was hit by a pitch. Maccabe reached on a fielder’s choice to second and freshman Joseph Allen plated Grider and Maccabe with a two-run single to right.

Washington & Lee plated five runs in the top of the ninth to effectively seal the game. Mike Carpenter started the big inning with his RBI ground out to second and sophomore Mason Satterfield gave the Generals an eight-run lead with his run-scoring double to left-center. Freshman Campbell Charneco made it an 11–2 contest with his RBI double to center and Perkins rounded out the frame with a two-run single up the middle.

Averett wasn’t going to roll over and scored a run on freshman Cole Mclain’s RBI single to center that led to the final score.

Perkins paced Washington & Lee in the closer, driving in four runs to bring his overall total to five.

Allen led Averett with a pair of RBIs while Mclain drove in the other run for the Cougars.

Thomas Haller picked up the win for Washington & Lee, throwing six innings of shutout ball while scattering five hits and striking out six.

Averett returns to action Feb. 15 when it travels to Lexington, Virginia, for a matchup against Washington & Lee at 4 p.m.

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