Game one of the double header between the Statesville Owls and Concord Athletics featured a tie and two lead changes, with the Owls prevailing for a 4-3 win.
Statesville pitcher Michael Holshouser (UNC Greensboro) earned the win by pitching six of the game’s seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out five and walking two.
Starter Daniel Windham (Montreat College) struck out five Owls in his four innings for Concord, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks.
After Athletics Austin Purser (Mars Hill College) and Drew Luckey (Lander University) walked to start the second inning, Tyler Wright (Millersville University) hit a base hit into left field to score the first run. With two men on base and no outs, Holshouser produced three critical outs, including one of his five strikeouts, to end the half inning.
Statesville captured its first lead in the bottom of the second inning. After Kelsey Weems (Rockingham Community College) walked, Beau Thompson (Newberry College) cranked a two-run home run to right field.
Statesville reached home again in the fourth inning when Grayson Chapman (UNC Greensboro) hit an RBI double into right field putting the Owls in front, 3-1. Chapman had two hits in his three at-bats.
Holshouser retired five straight Athletics, and 10 of 11, but with two outs in the fifth inning, his errant throw to first base enabled Ben Bowman (Pfeiffer University) to advance to third base, and Anthony Palma’s (Macalester College) infield single brought Concord within a run.
Jordan Gibert (Lander University) led the sixth inning for Concord by dropping a base hit single into right field. After Gibert stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Purser brought him home by lining a single into left field, tying the score at three.
Refusing to watch the Owls surrender its lead for long, Weems hit a deep shot off the left field wall for a standing double. Chapman and Hagan Alberson (Erskine College) both singled to left field, and the Owls reclaimed the lead, 4-3.
Alberson batted two-for-three. And with two Athletics on base with no outs in the final inning, he scooped up a ground ball from his short stop position, stepped on second base, and threw to first base for a double play preserving Statesville’s lead.
RJ Conner batted two-for-three with a double, and Derek Dyson earned the save.
The Athletics rallied with a three-run fourth inning and weathered a final-inning threat from the Owls to win game two of the teams’ double header, 5-3. Eight Athletics had hits in the seven-inning game.
Concord left men on base without scoring in each of the first three innings, but broke its drought in the fourth. Drew Luckey (Lander University) followed an infield single from Connor Knapp (North Carolina A&T) with a double deep to left field. After Joseph Tolone (Emory & Henry College) walked to load the bases with no outs, Parker Nolan (Davidson College) hit a ground ball into center field scoring two Athletics. Seth Morgan (Queens University of Charlotte) singled to reload the bases, and a sacrifice groundout from Tyler Wright (Millersville University) put Concord ahead 3-0. Tolone batted two-for-two.
Concord manufactured a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Collins Robinson (University of Alabama Tuscaloosa) singled to left field after Jordan Gibert (Lander University) was hit by a pitch, and the baserunners stole second and third base. Robinson’s effective base running enabled him to score on a wild pitch, and a groundball single from Tolone scored Gibert and put Concord ahead, 5-0.
With Statesville pressed to cut into its five-run deficit, Johnny Hummel (Erskine College) singled and RJ Conner (Catawba Valley Community College) walked placing two Owls on base with no outs. But Athletic starting pitcher Jackson Agosto (Emory & Henry) ended the inning by showcasing his breaking ball, retiring the following three batters, striking out two of them looking.
Despite allowing nine hits and two walks in his six innings, Hummel earned the win by striking out six Owls and ceding a single run.
Statesville starter Mitchell Keener (Belmont Abbey College) had five strikeouts in his four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks.
Concord walked four batters in the final inning and came close to surrendering its lead. After the Athletics brought in pitcher Drake Vernon (Pfeiffer University), Conner walked and Luke Orr (Newberry College) dropped a base hit into centerfield. Ausar Rankin (Rockingham Community College) walked to load the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate. Hunter Dula (Wingate University) drew another walk, bringing in the second Owl run and prompting Concord to try another arm, Collins Robinson (University of Alabama Tuscaloosa).
Robinson retired the next batter but walked Grayson Chapman (UNC Greensboro), bringing up Conner Driscoll (North Greenville University) who had already hit three singles. With the Owls trailing by two runs and the bases loaded with two outs, Driscoll made good contact with a ball that was caught just shy of the wall in right field, ending the game.