Lynchburg Advances to NCAA Baseball Regional Championship

Lynchburg Advances to NCAA Baseball Regional Championship

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. --- The University of Lynchburg baseball team will play for its second championship in a week after defeating N.C. Wesleyan Saturday. 

The Hornets thumped the Battling Bishops 16-9 and will take on the winner of N.C. Wesleyan and Lebanon Valley on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Hornets walked 13 times, got 11 hits, and Gavin Collins and Eric Hiett hit back-to-back home runs in the win. 

Brandon Pond started on the hill and earned his fourth win of the season. He allowed a solo home run in the 1st but settled in just like he did after giving up a solo shot in the ODAC tournament against Shenandoah. He struck out three hitters over the next two innings as the Hornets put runs on the board. 

Lynchburg scored twice in the 2nd without a hit. Carrson Atkins hit a ball to the warning track in center to drive in the first run on a sacrifice fly, and Jackson Harding scored on an error from the catcher after a pickoff throw carromed off his back into left field. 

Pond completed the 5th inning, but the Bishops had taken another lead with a three-run homer and an RBI single. 

Since Pond pitched five innings, he was eligible for the win as the Hornets began their offensive onslaught the next half-inning. Lynchburg put up four runs in the 6th with two-RBI singles from Harding and Holden Fiedler

The Hornets scored four more in the 8th as the wheels came off for N.C. Wesleyan. Brandon Garcia and Riley O'Donovan tallied bases-loaded walks, and Atkins and Garcia came around to score on passed balls.

Hiett hit his first-career homer in the 9th, and Collins followed it up with a towering blast to left. Hiett was 4-5 in the game. The sophomore has 12 hits during Lynchburg's postseason run. 

Baylor Cumbea delievered an important 3.1 innings of relief and racked up a career-best five strikeouts. 

The Hornets tallied their 40th win of the season and scored double-digit runs for the 19th time in 2023.