March 6, 2016
DAVIDSON, N.C. – Sunday’s rubber game between Lafayette and Davidson provided the latest reminder that anything can happen in baseball on any given day.
Less than 24 hours after the two teams combined for 25 runs on 32 hits, there were only six total hits in this afternoon’s contest. Five of those hits were registered by the Wildcats, and they also took advantage of eight walks by Maroon and White pitchers to emerge with a 5-2 victory.
Lafayette starter John Cain (0-2) tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and allowed only one hit and one earned run over 4 2/3 innings, but he also walked seven and hit a batter in his second start of the season.
A single and a walk put two runners on for Davidson (6-5) in the bottom of the third inning with only one out. Cain responded by fanning consecutive batters to end the threat. The Wildcats, though, struck in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Two walks and a HBP loaded the bases with one out, and Adrian Mayans delivered a sacrifice fly to center to open up the scoring.
The Leopards (2-6) tied up the score in the next half-inning, also without registering a hit. Andrew Landolfi reached on a HBP with two outs, and he proceeded to advance to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch. Landolfi then crossed the plate after Michael Coniglio reached on an error by Davidson starter Casey Sutherland.
The deadlock did not last for long. Cain struck out Davidson’s Cam Johnson to begin the bottom of the fifth, but he still made it to first base on a passed ball. He stood on third base as part of a runners on the corners situation later on in the frame, and the Wildcats executed a double steal to regain their advantage. Three-straight free passes after that allowed Davidson to tack on a third run.
Alex Woinski picked up Lafayette’s lone hit with a double to left field in the top of the sixth. His one-out knock advanced Campbell Lipe, who had been hit by a pitch, to third, and Lipe went on to score on an RBI groundout from Tyler Hudson.
The Leopards, however, went down in order over the final three innings, and Davidson added insurance tallies in the seventh and eighth frames.
Sutherland (1-0) wound up hitting four Lafayette batters over 5 1/3 innings, but he still picked up the win after striking out four and allowing just that one hit to Woinski.
After one day off, the Leopards will host their home opener at Kamine Stadium on Tuesday afternoon against Fairleigh Dickinson, with the contest scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.