Roanoke baseball makes it to ODAC finals, falls to Shenandoah in extras
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - #13 Roanoke survived a 3-2 extra innings affair against Virginia Wesleyan to advance to the finals of the ODAC Baseball Tournament at Lynchburg City Stadium, but couldn't withstand a late charge from #18 Shenandoah, as the Hornets claimed its second-ever ODAC championship with an 8-4 win in 10 innings. The Hornets (34-10) earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs with the victory over 2017 champion Roanoke (31-11).
In the day's first game to determine the survivor of the loser's bracket, neither Roanoke or VWU (28-14) mustered much offense, with Sean Guide's sacrifice in the 5th, and the Marlins' Brandon Kussmaul RBI double - also in the 5th - serving as the game's lone runs heading into extras.
In the12th, Guida reached on a fielder's choice to plate Gavin Kandrick to give the Maroons a 2-1 lead. Dylan Gentry of VWU would tie it again on an RBI single to right center to send the game to a 13th inning. Dean Hermanson singled to right to put Roanoke back in front, 3-2. Reliever Diego Meneses locked down the win with three straight VWU swinging strikeouts to send the Maroons into the finals.
Needing to win two against Shenandoah to repeat, the Maroons quickly found themselves in a 4-0 hole after 5 innings of play. Roanoke responded with a surge in the 6th, as Cody Shell hit a bases-loaded double down the left field line, plating both Kandrick and Jack Howard to bring the Maroons within 2. After a Will Smith sacrifice ground out to make it a one run game, Guida looped a single into shallow left field, allowing Shell to score to tie the game at 4.
The Hornets, however, would have the last laugh in extra innings. Keegan Woolford led off the top 10 with a home run to right center field to give Shenandoah the lead, then off a Christian Rice single, a throwing error allowed two runs to come into score to put the game out of reach.