SU roundup: Hornets baseball opens ODAC tourney with win

LYNCHBURG – Top-seeded Shenandoah University opened up the 2015 ODAC Baseball Tournament Thursday morning with an 11-3 victory over sixth-seeded Eastern Mennonite.

The No. 8/10 Hornets (24-7-1) scored in every inning except the second and sixth in dispatching the Royals (16-17).

Leading 6-0 after scoring one in the first, three in the third and two in the fourth, SU found itself in a ballgame as EMU touched Shenandoah starter Darrell Thompson (5-1) for three runs on five hits in the sixth.

The rally came with two outs as 2-3-4 hitters Joe Hall, Justin Rodriguez and Kyle Armstrong strung together consecutive singles to cut the Royals deficit in half.

Thompson, who got out of it with a groundball to short, settled in to shut EMU down in the seventh before turning it over to Phillip Morse to start the eighth.

Morse worked a three-up, three-down eighth but was replaced after walking the first two hitters in the ninth.

Senior Matthew Wilson then recorded the final three outs with a lineout to left, a fly to right and a groundout to short.

The top six hitters in the SU lineup had all of 11 of the Hornets hits with Billy Arens, John Wilt, Michael Paul, J.J. McDaniel and Ryan Mossman getting two each.

Arens, Paul and Daniel Freshley all drove in two runs.

Freshley had what proved to be the game-winning run by drawing a bases loaded walk in the fourth.

Thompson allowed the three runs on 10 hits and one walk in 7.0 innings of work.

The Hornets are back in action tomorrow at 2:30 against the loser of the No. 3 Randolph-Macon versus No. 4 Bridgewater.

All-ODAC baseball selections
FOREST – Senior J.J. McDaniel headlines seven Shenandoah University baseball players earning All-ODAC accolades in selections announced Thursday as part of the start of the 2015 ODAC Baseball Tournament.

McDaniel, along with classmate Nolan Overby and juniors Billy Arens and Ricky Pardo, were all named first team All-ODAC.

Junior Darrell Thompson, Michael Scimanico and Ryan Mossman round out the honorees as second team selections.

Thompson and Scimanico were selected as starting pitchers with Mossman, a pitcher/outfielder combination player, was selected at the utility spot.

The selections are the second ever for all but Pardo and Mossman, who are being honored for the second time.

McDaniel, who was named third team All-ODAC as a second baseman last season, earns first team honors this spring after hitting .412 with four home runs and 26 RBI.

He was named ODAC Player of the Week on April 6.

Arens repeats his first team honor from 2014, albeit at a new position. Shifting from shortstop to second base, Arens did not miss a beat this year as he is hitting .351 with two home runs and 22 RBI.

This past weekend, he had a walkoff double with one out in the ninth to drive in the winning run in a 3-2 ODAC win over Lynchburg.

Overby, a second team All-ODAC honoree last season, grabs first team designated hitter honors this year. The current ODAC Player of the Week is hitting .333 with a team-leading six home runs as well as 27 RBI.

Pardo, who has played both left and center field this season, rounds out the first team honorees with his .336 average.

Pardo has two home runs, 22 RBI and a second-best-on-team (to Arens) 31 runs scored.

Thompson, Scimanico and Mossman comprise 3/4 of the starting rotation, have a combined 12 wins and three saves and each has been named ODAC Pitcher of the Week this season.

Scimanico lead this trio with a 4-0 mark and 34 strikeouts in 44.0 innings pitched.

He has earned wins over Roanoke, Guilford, Hampden-Sydney, Randolph-Macon and Virginia Wesleyan in conference play.

Thompson, the Hornets No. 1 starter, is 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings pitched.

He defeated Guilford, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia Wesleyan and Emory and Henry in conference play.

Mossman, 3-0 with three saves in eight appearances, has a 1.69 ERA in 37 1/3 innings pitched.

Mossman is an every day player who is hitting .391 with a second-best-on-team 11 doubles in 87 at-bats. His batting average is an even .500 when he hits for himself as a pitcher.

ODAC Player of the Year: Zach Bach, Sr., 1B, Virginia Wesleyan
ODAC Pitcher of the Year: Sean Greiser, Jr., Virginia Wesleyan
ODAC Coach of the Year: Ben Spotts, Eastern Mennonite
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Rick Spiers, Fr., OF/P, Randolph-Macon
ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Jeff Gray, Sr., 1B, Hampden-Sydney

Women’s tennis
BRIDGEWATER – The Shenandoah University women’s tennis team completed its regular season Thursday afternoon with a 6-3 ODAC loss at Bridgewater.

Bridgewater (8-7, 7-4 ODAC) locked up the No. 5 seed at the upcoming ODAC Tournament with the victory over the Hornets (12-5, 6-5).

As the No. 6 seed, Shenandoah will travel to third-seeded Randolph-Macon this weekend for a quarterfinal round match.

Pairings will be officially announced later this evening by the conference office.

BC opened up a 2-1 lead after doubles thanks to wins in the top two matches.

Amber Lake and Caitlin Tilton won 8-3 for the Hornets at No. 3.

BC then clinched the victory with wins at Nos. 1,2 and 6 singles.

The match-clinching win was a 6-3, 6-0 Maria Hawkins win over Molly Barb at No. 1.

Lake posted her second win of the day, downing Whitney Cash 6-0, 6-1 at No. 5, while Tilton won 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 after the match result was decided.