Baseball Takes First Loss After Bottom of the Ninth Rally by Lynchburg, 8-7

Recap courtesy of Lynchburg College

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Host Lynchburg College scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, including a walk-off single by Griffin Wild, as the Hornets handed Tufts University its first loss of the spring, 8-7, in non-league baseball action on Friday.

Mike McLaughlin had three hits for the Jumbos

Down 7-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Lynchburg's Will Hylton doubled down the left field line to start the inning. Junior Will Harris snuck a ball through the left side to bring him home tying the score. Following a Jumbo double play, the Hornets had the winning run on third, but were down to their last out. Wild was down 1-2 in the count and hit a fly ball to center, but the Tufts center fielder back-pedaled too far and could not recover as the ball landed in front of him. Because of the two outs, Harris was running no matter what and crossed the plate to finish off the comeback rally.

The Hornets and Jumbos had traded blows between the third and eighth innings. The Hornets took an early lead in the third after senior Ryan Katona hit a slicing ball into right-center that was misplayed, giving Katona a triple with an rbi as sophomore Thomas Powell came all the way around to score from first. Lynchburg extended their lead to three in the fifth after Hylton drove in junior Matthew Cotton and Wild on a single through the right side.

The Jumbos answered back with three runs in the next half inning, including a two-run home run by sophomore Casey Santos-Ocampo. The Jumbos had scored earlier in the inning when Mike McLaughlin doubled to lead off, took third on a fly ball and scored on a sac fly by sophomore John Moschella.

Powell drove in Wild and junior Nathan Sharp in the bottom of the sixth, giving the hosts a 5-3 advantage. However, Tufts would take their first lead of the game in the top of the 7th, scoring three times to go up by a 6-5 score. Santos-Ocampo had a two-run single in the middle of the rally.

Lynchburg knotted it back up after junior Luke Rodgers sent a ball back up the middle, bringing in Hylton. The Jumbos answered back, regaining the lead with a run in the top of the eighth when senior 2B Tom Petry doubled and scored on Tommy O'Hara's pop-up to third base.

Wild went 2 for 4 to go along with his game-winning rbi, while Hylton scored two runs and drove in two and Powell scored one run and drove in two for Lynchburg (13-8). Five other Hornets recorded a hit with three of those recording an rbi as well. Peyton Walker got the win in relief.

Tufts had 13 hits, led by three from McLaughlin to go with two runs scored. Petry was 2 for 5 with two runs at the top of the order. Santos-Ocampo finished 2 for 4 with three rbis and a run.

Tufts plays at Apprentice School in a 1 p.m. start on Saturday as its spring trip winds down. Lynchburg finishes of a long week with a trip to Lexington, Va. for a twin bill with Washington & Lee on Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. 

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