VERO BEACH, FLA. – The Apprentice School baseball team closed out its swing in Vero Beach, Florida on Sunday facing fellow U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Penn State Greater Allegheny and came out with a split winning 7-3 in the opener and losing 5-4 in the nightcap.
With the win in the opener, Apprentice School Head Coach Bryan Cave earned his 500th career victory which places him among the top 30 coaches in NCAA Division III baseball with 500 wins. Cave, in his 23rd season as head coach, now has a career record of 500-382-1.
In the opener, the Builders trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning where they exploded for seven runs. Ryan Hendrickson opened with a triple to left field and he scored on a single by Chris Perry. Zach Harding then reached on a fielders choice which forced out Perry before advancing on a single by Chris Scarola.
A single by Chris Aldridge loaded the bases before Trevin Wilson drove in a pair with a single to left to put the Builders up 3-2. Travis Franklin followed with a single to score Aldridge and take a 4-2 lead. Following a strikeout, Andrew Hooper reached on an error which allowed Wilson and Franklin to score for a 6-2 advantage. Hendrickson then singled to left and plate Hooper for the 7-2 lead.
Cody Norris picked up the win throwing 5.2 innings and allowing three runs, four hits and three strikeouts. Travis Cherry earned the save throwing the final 1.1 innings and only allowing one walk. Wilson was 3-for-4, while Hendrickson and Perry were 2-for-4 with a run batted in each.
Game two saw the Builders trail 4-0 after two innings but started to mount a comeback with a two-run fifth as Harding started with a double and advanced on a groundout before scoring on a balk. After a foul out, Wilson singled and went to second on a single by Franklin and scoring on a single from Devorn Lake.
In the sixth, Hendrickson started the inning with a double and went to third on a bloop single to right by Perry. After a fly out, Scarola singled in Hendrickson cutting the deficit in half at 4-3.
The Builders tied the game in the seventh as with one out, Franklin singled and Lake drove in courtesy runner Justin Hike with a double off the net in left-centerfield to tie the game. Penn State Greater Allegheny scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out single.
Lake was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in, while Wilson, Franklin and Hendrickson had a pair of hits each for the Builders. Cherry was the tough-luck loser throwing 2.1 innings and allowing three hits with one run.
Apprentice School now returns home to face NCAA Division III sixth-ranked Salisbury University on Wednesday at 2 pm.