Lancers take rubber match against Bulldogs

Longwood erupted Sunday afternoon scoring a series best eight runs to power past UNC Asheville 8-4. The Lancers (20- 24, 7-11 Big South) got up early, and fought late to hold off the Bulldogs (18-23, 8-10 Big South) in a crucial Big South Conference game. Longwood used big fifth and seventh innings to pull away late Sunday afternoon. 

TOP PERFORMERS 

Tanner Thomas: 2-2, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R 

Ryan Perez: 2-3, 1 2B, 3R, 1 SB 

Kevin Warunek: 2.0 IP, 2 SO, 0 ER 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

Longwood struck first in the second inning when Blagen Pado roped an RBI single up the middle to plate Tanner Thomas who smashed a one out double down the left field line earlier in the inning. 

The Lancers got two more runs in the third on a Hayden Harris sacrifice fly followed by Thomas’ second hit of the afternoon that plated Ryan Perez. 

UNC Asheville would not go away easily though. The Bulldogs plated three runs of their own over the fourth and fifth innings to even the score at three. 

Longwood responded quickly in the bottom half of the fifth to eventually take the lead for good. Harris hit an RBI single to left field to give Longwood a 4-3 lead. Two batters later Thomas delivered again when he drove a ball deep to right field for a sacrifice fly to give the Lancers an insurance run. 

The Lancers added three more in the seventh on two hits and an error, and the pitching staff shut the door from there. 

Kevin Warunek threw two scoreless in the sixth and seventh before turning the ball over to Ried Dittner and Owen Simmons to finish the game. 

Kevin Warunek (2-0) was solid in his outing where he struck out two batters which helped him earn the win, while Cole Schiff (3-1) picked up the loss for the Bulldogs. 

Longwood has now won 20 games in three consecutive seasons. 

“Big win for our guys today. We talked about executing after yesterday’s game, and I thought our guys did a better job today with that.” Head Coach Chad Oxendine said. “We have to keep working on the small details as we finish up this last stretch of the season.” 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR LONGWOOD? 

Longwood travels to nationally ranked Duke Sunday, May 5. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. in Durham. The game will air on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.