Shenandoah baseball opens regional play with win

Daily Staff Report –

DEMOREST, Ga. — Shenandoah University opened up the NCAA Division III Demorest Regional baseball tournament Wednesday afternoon with an 11-3 victory over sixth-seeded Covenant.

The top-seeded Hornets, 32-9, scored at least one run in four of the first five innings to seize control of the game over the Scots (26-14).

After Covenant made matters interesting with a two-run third, Shenandoah scored three in the bottom half of the frame and never let its lead slip before three runs the rest of the way.

Senior Dan Powers scored what proved to be the winning run when he was sacrificed to third and the scampered home as Covenant starting pitcher Garrett Kriston (7-3) overthrew first base on Daniel Freshley’s sacrifice bunt.

The error was one of three that the Scots made on the day and one of two charged to Kriston.

The win vaults SU into a 3:30 game Thursday against the loser of the No. 3 Birmingham-Southern vs No. 4 Bridgewater contest.

Those two teams played Wednesday night and Thursday’s game will be an elimination contest for either the Panthers or Eagles.

Shenandoah sophomore Darrell Thompson (10-2) tossed the opening seven innings for coach Kevin Anderson’s club and allowed the three runs (two earned) on eight hits and three walks.

Wednesday’s game was Thompson’s first start in the last five that he did not go the distance. He struck out seven.

Andrew Zarobila, Cody Vorous and Matt Riegler recorded the final six outs of the contest, with Vorous getting the last out of the eighth and the first two of the eighth.

After Covenant loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter, Anderson turned to Riegler for the final out. The southpaw needed just two pitches to induce a 4-1 groundout.

Shenandoah pounded out 17 hits in the win, including four each from Corbin Lucas and Billy Arens and three apiece from Michael Paul and J.J. McDaniel.

The top four hitters in the SU lineup combined for 11 hits and five RBIs.

Paul and Lucas both drove in two.

Kriston allowed the eight runs (seven earned) on 14 hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings of work.