Friday, February 10, 2012

ASHEBORO, N.C. – Dalton Lindley’s (Siler City, NC) walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth was just enough for Pfeiffer University to sneak past Shepherd University 5-4 in day one of the 2012 Copperheads Baseball Tournament at McCrary Park. The win evens the Falcons to 3-3 overall on the year while the Rams drop their 2012 season opener.

Traveling south to play in their first game of the season, Shepherd wasted little time in getting on the board first as the Rams’ second batter of the game Michael Lott (Woodbridge, VA) lined a solo shot over the wall in right-center for a 1-0 lead. Pfeiffer would square it in the fourth on a solo blast of their own as Johnny Brown, Jr. (Greensboro, NC) sent a blast to left for a 1-1 game.

After Brandon Coffey (Manassas, VA) and Chad Murphy (North Olmsted, OH) reached on back-to-back one-out singles, Ryan Messina (St. James, NY) brought them both in with his double down the left field line to give the Rams a 3-1 lead. Preston Lyon (Gastonia, NC) immediately got one of those runs back in the home-half of the sixth with his own bomb to left-center as the Falcons got to within one at 3-2. 

A one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh by Jacob Yates (Blairs, VA) put the Falcons’ tying run aboard for Cole McGraw (Claremont, NC). McGraw followed by drilling the first pitch over the wall in right to give Pfeiffer their first lead of the day at 4-3.

Murphy struck again for the Rams in the eighth with a lead-off double to right-center. Two hitters later, Jake Cook (Centreville, MD) plated pinch-runner Steve Ferguson (Martinsburg, VA) with the equalizer.

The top of the ninth saw Shepherd use catcher’s interference, infield single and error, with an intentional walk that loaded the bases with one out. Pfeiffer reliever Craig Bolton (Shelby, NC) would retire back-to-back hitters on strikes to end the threat. Bolton picked up the win in relief tossing 1.2 innings allowing just a hit with two strikeouts.

Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Shepherd will take on Barton in the first game at 12:00 p.m. with Pfeiffer and Tusculum doing battle at 3:30 p.m.