HAMPTON, VA. – The Apprentice School baseball team used a pair of strong pitching performances and some timely hitting to topple Tufts University in a doubleheader on Saturday winning the opener 2-1 and taking the nightcap 5-2.
With the wins, the Builders raised their record to 20-4 on the year and recorded their first doubleheader sweep of Tufts since 2009 which was the last time they had defeated the Jumbos.
In the opener, the Builders scratched a run in the first inning as with one out Brock Harris beat out an infield single and went to second on a passed ball. Following a walk to Chris Aldridge, Devorn Lake slapped a single up the middle to score Harris for the early 1-0 lead.
Freshman Taylor Gomer nearly made that hold up as he went 5.2 innings and allowed seven hits. In the top of the sixth, the Jumbos cracked the board with two outs as Mike Barry singled through the left side to plate Wade Hauser who started the inning with a single. Sophomore Sam Massie came in and recorded a ground out to end the threat as the Jumbos had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
Apprentice School responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth as with one out, Mark Labrador doubled to left center and scored as Cody Seals matched his double with one of his own. Massie closed out the game to earn his third win of the year. Harris, Lake, Labrador, Seals and Zach Harding all had hits for the Builders in the opener.
The nightcap saw the Jumbos break the ice with a pair of runs in the fourth inning as Nate Izzo reaced second on a throwing error and went to third on a single by Hauser. Eric Weikert flew out to score Izzo and Bryan Egan followed with a double to score Hauser for the 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Builders erupted for five runs as with one out Lake took a 3-1 pitch over the left-centerfield wall for a solo home run to get the hosts on the board. That turned on the Builders bats as Labrador and Seals followed with infield singles and Harris reached on a fielders choice to load the bases. Chris Scarola then ripped a double into right-center to score Labrador and Seals for a 3-2 lead.
Following a strikeout, Trevin Wilson beat out an infield single to score Scarola and the throw sailed into the Apprentice School dugout allowing Harris to score for a 5-2 advantage. Senior David Sebera came in and struck out two in the ninth for the win.
Seals was 2-for-3 to lead a seven-hit attack for the Builders. Junior Chad Gurganus earned his third win of the year throwing six complete innings and allowing four hits and striking out four.
Sunday's scheduled doubleheader with Fulton-Montgomery College has been bumped up in attempt to get the games in before forecasted weather turns miserable. First-pitch of game one is now scheduled for 9 am at War Memorial Stadium.
BASEBALL RANKED SECOND IN OPENING USCAA COACHES POLL
The first U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball Coaches Top 20 was released late Friday and the Builders are currently ranked second behind Ave Maria University (FLA).
Apprentice School, now 20-4 on the year, trailed Ave Maria by three points in the opening rankings. Coming in third was St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn with Southern Virginia University and Clark State CC rounding out the top five.
Following Tuesday's game at Mary Washington, the Builders will host fifth-ranked Southern Virginia for a doubleheader at War Memorial on March 30 starting at 1 pm.
Click here for first USCAA Coaches Top 20