FINAL SCORE: Apprentice School 14, Bridgewater 2
WHERE: War Memorial Stadium – Hampton, VA
RECORDS: Bridgewater 23-8, Apprentice School 27-6
RANKINGS: Apprentice School (#1 USCAA), Bridgewater (#28 American Baseball Coaches Assoc. /NCAA Division III)
IN BRIEF: Apprentice School returned to the home field on Thursday night and recorded one of its bigger wins in recent years knocking off 28th-ranked Bridgewater College 14-2. The win is the first over a nationally-ranked team in five years as the Eagles were ranked 28th in the American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Division III Top 30.
- Apprentice School jumped on starter Brady Cockerham for five runs in the second inning as 10 Builders went to the plate. Devorn Lake walked and Cody Seals singled to start the inning. Mark Labrador then reached on a fielder's choice in which the throw sailed away to allow Lake to score the first run. Jordan Cowles singled to drive home Seals and Brock Harris followed with a single to load the bases. Labrador scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Trevin Wilson and Cowles scored on a wild pitch to go up 4-0. A RBI single by Chris Aldridge scored Wilson to go up 5-0.
- In the third, the Eagles got a run back as Zack Hynes drew a bases loaded walk to score Jonathan Mason. Bridgewater took advantage of a bit of control issues from Apprentice School starter Taylor Gomer who gave up three of his four walks in that inning.
- The Builders responded with a six-run bottom of the third to blow the game wide open. Apprentice School took advantage of two errors and four walks along with three hits to plate the six runs. Zach Harding drove in two with a single to left field and a pair of bases loaded walks to Aldridge and Lake helped push the lead to 11-1.
- Gomer got into a groove as he retired nine in a row from the end of the third to a two-out single by Brendan Howell in the sixth inning. The freshman from Smithfield won his fourth game throwing the first seven innings allowing four hits and striking out five.
- Apprentice School scored a run in the seventh on a RBI single from Lake and then used a pair of RBI singles from Harding and Chris Scarola in the eighth to go up 14-1.
- Bridgewater used a two-out triple from Derrick Walling to score Brandon Stein with the final run in the ninth. Sam Massie closed the game throwing the last two innings and recording four strikeouts.
- Joining Aldridge and Harding in the multiple-hit club Thursday was Scarola (2-4 with two walks), Seals (2-5 with 2 runs scored) and Cowles (2-4 with 3 runs scored).
- This marked the first win over a NCAA nationally-ranked opponent since the Builders defeated NCAA Division II Kutztown University 11-10 in the 2008 Builder Invitational on Feb. 23, 2008.
- Bridgewater was on a six-game winning streak and had just clinched the regular-season title in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
- In the second inning when the Builders scored five runs, they epitomized the baseball term "small ball" as not a ball went into the outfield - the four hits in the inning were all infield singles.
The Builders will hit the home field again on Wednesday afternoon for a 2 pm single-game with Danville CC. These teams played on April 2 and the Builders used a five-run tenth inning to take a 12-7 win at Dan Daniel Park.