Florence, SC – Southern Wesleyan kicked off their 2018 campaign with a 9-8 victory over the Barton College Bulldogs on Thursday evening.
The Warriors had 12 hits in the victory over the Bulldogs. Izzy Martinez led the team with three hits. Martinez was followed by Julio Justo, Quinton Bent and Andrew Falgiano with two hits each. Martinez went on to lead the team with three RBIs. Southern Wesleyan had six walks, with Ike Thalassinos leading the team with three. Julio Justo and Andrew Falgiano both had doubles in the victory over the Bulldogs.
Southern Wesleyan posted 12 strikeouts in the victory. TJ McEvilly led the team with nine strikeouts. McEvilly gained the first win of the season for the Warriors. He went on to pitch six innings for the Warriors while allowing seven hits and three runs. Josh Antwine, Roth Mathews and Kyle Cook-McCrary came in to pitch in relief for Southern Wesleyan. Cook-McCrary grabbed the save in the victory.
Final: Southern Wesleyan 9, Barton 8
Records: Southern Wesleyan (1-0), Barton (0-1)
Coach Gillespie says…
"Really proud of the way we stayed focused and confident through the game tonight. The season opener always has a lot of variables and possible scenarios as you see your team play for the first time. We have talked about next pitch mentality and we executed that tonight. Looking forward to getting back out tomorrow and seeing our guys compete."
How It Happened
TJ McEvilly took the mound for the Warriors to start the game and shut down the Bulldogs in the first inning. The Bulldogs took an early second inning lead, however, as Barton loaded up the bases. A ground out double play allowed Riker to cross the plate and give Barton a 1-0 lead.
Southern Wesleyan countered in the top of the third. Trey Matthews led off the third inning with a walk and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. A ground out by Andrew Falgiano allowed Matthews to move over to third, and then a ground out by Izzy Martinez allowed Matthews to cross home plate and tie the game. John Garrett followed with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a passed ball. Julio Justo singled through the left side and advanced on the throw. Garrett came home on the play to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead over Barton.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. The Warriors countered in the top of the fourth. Quinton Bent led off with a single up the middle and then advanced to third when Andrew Falgiano doubled down the right field line. Izzy Martinez followed with a single to center field to bring Bent and Falgiano home and put the Warriors up 4-3.
Southern Wesleyan pushed ahead in the top of the fifth inning. Jesse Getford walked to lead off the inning for the Warriors. Julio Justo followed with a double down the left field line to push Getford to third base. A single up the middle by Quinton Bent brought both Getford and Justo home to push the Warriors lead to 6-3.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Josh Antwine came in to pitch with TJ McEvilly. The Bulldogs threatened, as the lead-off batter walked and then came home to score on a single by Riker to put Barton down 6-4 to Southern Wesleyan. However, Proctor ground out to the first baseman Quinton Bent to end the inning and bring the Warriors up to bat in the top of the eighth inning.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Andrew Falgiano singled down the right field line and then advanced to second when Izzy Martinez singled to second base. A throwing error by the pitcher allowed John Garrett to reach first base and brought Falgiano home. Jesse Getford hit a single to left field to move Garrett to second and bring Martinez home to give the Warriors an 8-4 run advantage.
Barton fought back in the bottom of the eighth inning to score three runs to make the score 8-7. In the top of the ninth inning, Ike Thalassinos started the inning with a walk and then advanced to second base when Devin Patrick walked. A throwing error by the catcher allowed Thalassinos to come home and score and moved Patrick to second. Southern Wesleyan won the game in a 9-8 final score.
Southern Wesleyan will next take on the Francis Marion Patriots at 2 p.m. on February 2. They remain in Florence, SC on February 3 where they will take on Lenoir-Rhyne at 11 a.m. in the final game in the tournament.