Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications
MISENHEIMER, N.C. - The Pfeiffer baseball team (17-18) continued their hot stretch with an 8-5 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (19-16) on Tuesday evening. Jordan Eckard hit a two run bomb in the first inning and Gauge Gantt broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI single in the 7th inning to pull Pfeiffer within one game of .500.
The win was Pfeiffer's second over L-R in a week and pushed the Falcons to 4-1 over their last five games. Pfeiffer, who defeated the Bears 14-4 in Hickory last Tuesday, jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed in the non-conference matchup.
Pfeiffer scored in each of the first three innings to run out to the early advantage. After John Elwood led off the bottom of the first with a single, Eckard deposited a pitch over the left field fence for his sixth long ball of the season.
In the second, Pfeiffer had runners on first and third with one out. Eckard stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher, which allowed Xavier Rodriguez to score. Tanner Mathis brought Eckard home with a base hit to left and pushed the lead to 4-0.
Gantt recorded an RBI single in the third to give Pfeiffer a 5 run advantage but the Bears would chip away at the lead. L-R scored three times in the fourth and tallied single runs in the 5th and 6th to draw even. However, Gantt answered in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring single for the game-winning RBI.
Zach Scudder busted the game open with a two run double in the bottom of the eighth. Rodriguez came in to shut the door in the ninth inning for his third save of the season, striking out two in the process.
Pfeiffer finished with 12 hits in the game, their 20th game this season with double digit hits. The top three hitters for the Falcons (Elwood, Eckard and Mathis) went a combined 6-for-13 with four runs and three RBI.
Brodrick Rierson got the start and allowed three runs in three innings. The Pfeiffer bullpen covered the final six innings and allowed just two runs. Dylan Goodman earned his first career victory and struck out each of the two batters he faced in the seventh inning.
The Falcons will return to action on Friday night in Conference Carolinas action as they host Emmanuel. Pfeiffer is 5-1 against the Lions over the past two seasons and will open the series at 6 p.m. on Friday.