Railsplitters fall to Bulldogs to finish SAC Runner-Up

Published 3:53 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

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By John Dunn


With its back against the wall, facing elimination from the SAC Championship, the Lincoln Memorial baseball team was back in action against the Wingate Bulldogs in game two of the Championship Series on Saturday after falling in game one 11-4. A win by Lincoln Memorial would force a third, winner-take-all game for the SAC Championship.

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The Bulldogs wasted no time in getting a quick jump on the Railsplitters. Wingate connected on two homers in the top of the first inning, a solo shot and a three-run shot, to take a 4-0 lead. After holding Lincoln Memorial scoreless through the first three innings, the Bulldogs took a 4-0 advantage into the fourth inning. Wingate added to its run total in the fourth inning, adding one run to increase its lead to 5-0.

The Bulldogs continued to hold the Railsplitters scoreless while extending their lead by the seventh inning.  Adding two runs in the top of the seventh inning, Wingate’s lead swelled to 7-0. Lincoln Memorial failed to tally a run in the bottom of the inning, seeing the Bulldogs take back over on offense. With another run in the top of the eighth, the lead grew to 8-0.  The Railsplitters began to fight back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring their first run of the game when Cameron Bowen was walked with the bases loaded, seeing Mitch Petzelt cross the plate for the first run of the day for Lincoln Memorial, cutting the score to 8-1. However, it was all the Railsplitters could muster, retired with three runners left on base.

Wingate took over on offense in the top of the ninth, hoping to build on its lead to circumvent any possibility of a Lincoln Memorial comeback. The Bulldogs added their run total with a homer, taking a 9-1 lead heading into the final frame. Trailing by eighth, the deficit was just too much for the Railsplitters, seeing Wingate capture the SAC Championship, 9-1.

Eli Edds got the start from the mound, pitching 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs, and six earned runs with five walks and five strikeouts. David Brian Ellison pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, and three earned runs with two walks and four strikeouts.


In its second consecutive trip to the SAC Championship, the Lincoln Memorial baseball team was seeking to replicate its performance against the Wingate Bulldogs from earlier this season, taking 2-of-3 games against the Bulldogs in Harrogate. After defeating Tusculum and Catawba, sweeping their bracket, the Railsplitters were hoping to parlay the successful hitting exhibited throughout the season in the SAC Championship.

Collin Goda was the first to connect on a hit for Lincoln Memorial, connecting on a single. Kasten Harvey was then hit by pitch and took first base. With two runners on base, SAC Player of the Year and reigning Regional Player of the Week, Carson Boles connected on a three-run homer to give the Railsplitters a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With the home run, Boles became the Lincoln Memorial all-time RBI leader for a single season. It also marked a record-setting home run for the team, seeing the 2024 team become the all-time leaders for home runs in a single season. After taking back over on defense in the bottom of the first, the tables quickly turned on the Railsplitters as the Bulldogs paraded their own hitting power, cracking two home runs to take a 5-3 lead. The second and third innings were defensive showings, with neither team able to add to its run total. In the top of the fourth, Ryan Kurth took base after being walked. Sam Mast then delivered a single into the gap, allowing Kurth to advance to third. With two runners on, Mitch Petzelt delivered a single to the short stop, who was unable to come up with the ball, seeing Kurth take home as the Railsplitters chipped away at the lead, 5-4.

Wingate replicated its first inning with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, building on its lead, 8-4. The Bulldogs held the Railsplitters off the board in the fifth and sixth innings, while adding one run in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 9-4. A scoreless seventh inning for the Railsplitters saw Wingate take a 9-4 lead into the bottom of the inning with a chance to build on its lead. The Bulldogs added another run in the bottom of the inning, continuing to build on their lead, taking a 10-4 advantage into the eighth inning. Wingate held Lincoln Memorial scoreless in the top of the eighth, its fourth consecutive scoreless inning. The Bulldogs took a 10-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth with a chance to build on their lead with the Railsplitters down to their final three outs.

Wingate added a homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to take an 11-4 lead into the final frame. After holding the Railsplitters scoreless in the top of the ninth innings, the Bulldogs claimed game one of the SAC Championship.

Christian Pencek got the start from the mound, facing two batters, allowing two hits, five runs, and five earned runs with four walks and zero strikeouts. Carter White pitched three innings in relief, allowing five hits, three runs, and three earned runs with one walk and three strikeouts. Colin Murphy pitched three innings in relief, allowing two hits, one run, and zero earned runs with zero walks and two strikeouts. Aiden Carter pitched two innings, allowing three hits, two runs, and one earned run with zero walks and one strikeout.