By MacKenzie Tuttle, Digital Content Supervisor
ROME, Ga. – The Berry College baseball team swept the Lynx of Rhodes College on Sunday to earn the top spot in the conference standings. The Vikings bested the Lynx 3-2 in walk-off style in game one and then rounded out the day with a 10-4 victory in game two.
With the wins, Berry improves to 23-10 overall on the year, as well as 14-4 in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) play. Rhodes falls to 21-13 and 12-6. Heading into the final weekend of conference competition, Berry has a two-game lead and has an opportunity to clinch the team's first SAA title outright with a series victory over Sewanee.
GAME ONE RECAP:
- Game one proved to be a pitching dual between the two teams, with neither team finding a way to cross the plate until the eighth inning.
- Rhodes' Jacob Telli doubled to left center in the top of the eighth, bringing home both Paul Giacomazzi and Jon Michale Lauck to give the Lynx a late 2-0 lead.
- Berry cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the same inning, as Tyler Calvert scored on a passed ball.
- The Vikings' Jacob Delk then singled up the middle to bring in both Casey Whitaker and Zack Walch in the bottom of the ninth inning, ensuring the 3-2 walk-off victory for Berry.
- Trey Rampy started the game on the mound for the Vikings, tossing eight innings, while allowing eight hits and two runs, striking out seven Lynx.
- Luke Crawford (1-0) then earned the win on the mound for the Vikings, tossing the final frame, while allowing no hits and no runs, striking out two
- Spence Johns led the Berry offense in the matchup, finishing the game 3-for-3 at the plate.
GAME TWO RECAP:
- The Vikings strung together nine hits in game two on the day, besting the Lynx 10-4 in the outing.
- Rhodes crossed the plate first, as Will Heurtin singled down the left field line in the top of the first inning to bring home Telli and give the Lynx a 1-0 lead.
- Berry's Will Deems then tied the game at 1-1, adding a sacrifice fly to bring home Delk in the bottom of the second inning.
- Rhodes' Zac Lange added a sacrifice fly of his own in the top of the fourth inning, knocking in Heurtin to give the Lynx their second 2-1 lead of the contest.
- Post quickly found a way to tie the game back up, singling up the middle to drive home Calvert in the bottom of the same inning, moving the score to 2-2.
- Rhodes answered though, adding back-to-back runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to take their final 4-2 lead of the day.
- A fielder's choice, a pair of bases loaded walks, two singles and a double then plated eight runs for the Vikings in the bottom of the sixth inning, opening up scoring and ensuring Berry's 10-4 victory.
- William Gibbons (2-2) earned the win on the mound for Berry, tossing 1.1 innings, while allowing just two hits and one run, striking out a Lynx. Three other Vikings saw time on the mound in the contest.
- Delk led Berry offensively in the matchup, finishing the game 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs and two RBIs.
BERRY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Zack Walch: 2-for-8, 2 R, RBI, BB
- Spence Johns: 3-for-6, R, RBI, BB
- Casey Whitaker: 2-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBIs, 2 2B
- Jacob Delk: 4-for-9, 3 R, 4 RBIs
- Tyler Calvert: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 BB, 2B
- Devin Post: 3-for-7, RBI
RHODES STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Paul Giacomazzi: 3-for-8, R, RBI
- Zach Liebenson: 2-for-7, R
- Jacob Telli: 4-for-6, 2 RBIs, R, 2B
- Will Heurtin: 2-for-8, R, RBI
- On senior day, Trey Rampy earned the single-season program record in Berry's NCAA Division III era for strikeouts with his 63rd punchout of the year.
Berry will host the Scots of Covenant College in their next contest on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. before heading to Sewanee on Saturday.