On Campus: Bluefield State’s Rutherford enjoys homecoming

Chaz Rutherford (Skyline ’13) had quite the homecoming this past weekend.

The Bluefield State College (West Virginia) junior baseball player and his teammates played at Bing Crosby Stadium against Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and made the most of it. They played four games in two days in Front Royal, and Rutherford went 7-for-13 with two home runs, eight RBIs and four runs scored in the four games.

In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Rutherford went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored, including his first homer of the season. In the second game, Rutherford went 1-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs, including another home run.

In the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, Rutherford went 0-for-3. He went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored in the second game on Sunday.

The two teams split the four games. Originally, the games were supposed to be played in Luray. When they didn’t work out, Bluefield State contacted the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department, which agreed to let the games be played at Bing Crosby Stadium and so Rutherford could play in front of friends and family.

For the season, Rutherford is batting .226 (19-for-84) with two homers, 14 RBIs and eight runs scored. He also has four stolen bases.

Bluefield State College is 9-22 on the season.

Solid sophomore: Colton Harlow (Stonewall Jackson ’14) is having a strong sophomore season for James Madison University’s baseball team.

Harlow is 2-3 on the mound, having won two of his last three starts. Harlow has started seven games for the Dukes this season and has a 6.39 ERA. He has pitched 31.0 innings, second most on the team and has one complete game. Harlow is also second on the team with 21 strikeouts.

In a 4-1 victory over St. Bonaventure on March 18, he had a season-high seven strikeouts. Harlow allowed only three hits in seven innings. On March 26, Harlow went seven innings and picked up another victory. He allowed seven hits and struck out two in a 6-4 JMU victory.

The Dukes are 13-15 overall, including 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. JMU plays at Towson University at 3 p.m. Friday.

Player of the Week: Shepherd University’s Tre Porter (Sherando ’12) was named the Mountain East Conference Player of the Week last week.

Porter hit .429 (9-for-21) with four home runs, eight extra-base hits and a slugging percentage of 1,238. He had eight RBIs and scored 10 runs in six games that week. The Rams went 6-0 during the week.

Porter, one of four Sherando players on the team, now leads the Rams with a .405 batting average (32-for-79). He has 10 home runs, five doubles, two triples and 21 RBIs. He also leads the team with 15 walks.

The Rams are 16-8, including 9-3 in the Mountain East Conference. They host Urbana University (Ohio) in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.

First start: Ryan Smoot (Strasburg ’15) made his first start for Virginia Military Institute’s baseball team Tuesday night in an 8-7 victory over Radford University. He was the starting catcher in the game.

He made the most of it as he went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Smoot scored the first run of the game in the sixth inning, after leading off with a double. He also had an RBI walk in the seventh.

The Highlanders were led in the contest by Adam Whitacre (Sherando ’15), who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

For the season, Smoot is hitting .429 (3-for-7) in six games. He has drawn three walks. Smoot picked up his first career hit against the University of Virginia on Feb. 23.

The Keydets are 16-17, including 1-5 in the Southern Conference. They host Western Carolina at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Freshman force: Connor Stevenson (Sherando ’15) is off to a good start in his baseball career at Emory & Henry College.

Stevenson is hitting .290 (20-for-69) in 19 games played. The freshman catcher has 10 runs scored, four doubles and seven RBIs. He also has drawn five walks and has stolen bases.

On April 2, he went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored in a 14-10 loss to Virginia Wesleyan. On Monday, Stevenson went 2-for-5 with a run scored in a 9-8 loss to Maryville (Tennessee).

The Wasps are 8-22 and play at Shenandoah University in a doubleheader on Saturday.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com