The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team opened the weekend series against South Atlantic Conference rival Wingate Bulldogs, and played them in two close games, but found themselves on the wrong end of the result in both games. The Bears fell 3-1 and 4-2 in a pair of pitchers duels on Saturday afternoon.
LR got four base hits throughout the game and two of those came from the leadoff hitter, Grant Fuller. Matthew Freeman and Hunter Jackson got one hit each to round out the Bears with base knocks.
Despite not getting a hit, Clayton Jeffries was still effective with his bat as he drove in the only run of the game for the home team.
Alex Shirazi had a special outing, throwing a career-long 8.0 innings and worked into the ninth before being taken out of the game to a standing ovation from the Bears crowd. The junior scattered six hits, gave up just three runs – and two were earned – while fanning eight Wingate batters.
It was just the Bulldogs who had an even more impressive day on the mound as David Nash earned his second win of the season, giving up just one run on four hits in eight innings of work. The Designated Hitter to start the game, Hunter Dula, was given the ball to record the final three outs, giving him his fifth save of the season for the Bulldogs.
Wingate was limited to just seven hits, but two of those came from Jed Bryant who carried their offense with two base knocks to go along with two runs batted in.
This game was back and forth in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Bears had their opportunity in the bottom of the sixth as they had two runners in scoring position, but the Bulldogs stranded both in what proved to secure the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led at the plate by Jackson who had two of the Bears' six hits and an RBI to go with it. Will Jones added an RBI despite not recording a hit in the game.
Paul Hall took the loss after he worked 6.0 innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs, while striking out five batters.
The Bulldogs gave Alex Rodriguez the ball to start as he earned the win and Sawyer Lee earned his first save of the season in two innings on the mound.
This ended the Bears' longest winning streak of the season, five games, and the Bears continue to struggle at Bears Field, holding a 7-15 record in Hickory.
Ranel is on a six-game hit streak, Jeffries' six game hit streak came to an end with an 0-for-7 day at the plate and Austin Reed extended his streak to five games.
LR is 21-23 overall, 7-13 in the South Atlantic Conference. The bears will get set to play the final game of the series on Monday due to severe weather on Sunday.