LYNCHBURG, Va. – No. 9/11 Shenandoah University opened the defense of its ODAC baseball title Thursday afternoon with an 8-1 victory over Bridgewater College in a game played on the Liberty University campus.
Shenandoah, 31-8 and the tournament's No. 1 seed, scored six runs in the first inning and two more in the fourth to take a commanding lead over Bridgewater (21-18).
The Hornets jumped all over Eagles starter Ryan Leake (4-5) for six runs on five hits in the first inning; a crucial error at second base allowed five of those runs to be unearned.
Shenandoah sent 11 men to the plate in the frame with leadoff hitter Joe Coleman getting two hits. Coleman led off the game with a single to center and then drove in the final two runs with a single through the left side.
The offense was more than enough for senior Michael Scimanico as the southpaw celebrated being named All-ODAC for the third time in four seasons with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.
Scimanico's first strikeout, of Cavin Clyde in the first inning, broke the single season record at SU that was co-held by Scimanico and Greg Van Sickler '11.
After loading the bases with no outs in the seventh, Scimanico turned it over to classmate Ryan Mossman for the final nine outs.
Mossman earned picked up the three inning save by scattering two hits in his 3.0 innings pitched. In the ninth, Mossman benefitted from a double play as right fielder Abel Arocho gunned down Clyde at third base as he attempted to tag on a Brett Jones fly out.
The twin killing was one of two double plays the Hornets turned in the contest.
Eight of the nine SU starters had at least one hit with Coleman and Tristan Baker each getting two hits.
Coleman and Jake Loew both had a pair of RBIs. Loew had an RBI groundout in the first and a run-scoring single to right in the fourth.