LYNCHBURG, Va. – Junior Michael Kenah launched a sacrifice fly scoring junior Ashton Paige for the winning run in the eighth inning on Sunday as Lynchburg defeated Bridgewater 2-1 for its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) title since 1990. It is the eighth ODAC title for Lynchburg, who now earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Senior Robert Garrett pitched his second complete game of the tournament, giving up five hits and only run. He walked just one batter and struck out five, earning the ODAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player award. Garrett moves to 8-0 on the season.
“It’s wonderful to see these kids this excited,” said head coach Percy Abell. “To see their emotions, it’s incredible to me”.
The game proved to be very close, with a combined ten hits from both teams.
Bridgewater picked up the first run in the game off a RBI-single from Bryan Sanderson in the opening inning, driving in Devon Snow. Garrett then picked off Sanderson, ending the frame.
With BC still leading 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, junior Ashton Paige led off with a single before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Lincoln Evans. Senior Richard Palase then singled moving Paige to third, which was followed by an RBI knock from junior Michael Kenah to tie the game at one.
The bases were loaded with one out but Bridgewater got two quick outs, ending the threat from the Hornets.
A similar script unfolded in the bottom of the eighth, as Paige led the frame off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Evans. Palase then reached base off a Bridgewater error, putting runners on the corners with only one out.
Kevin Chandler replaced starting pitcher Corey Armentrout on the mound to face Kenah who sent a fly ball to right field, scoring Paige on the sacrifice for the go-ahead run, putting LC up 2-1.
In the ninth inning, Garrett took the mound and got an immediate fly out and strikeout. With one out remaining, Lynchburg got a slow roller to first to end the game.
“It means so much,” said Kenah. “To see all the returning players, all the coaches and to win it for them and Lynchburg is incredible”.