No. 15 Roanoke ousts baseball from ODAC tournament

Austin Keesee slides into home plate.

Salem, Va. -- The Lynchburg College baseball team's season came to an end Friday evening as the Hornets suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of No. 15 Roanoke, falling 10-1 and 10-4 in the best-of-three first round series of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament.

Sixth-seeded Lynchburg was making its first appearance in the conference tournament since the 2014 season.

Things got off to a promising start for the Hornets in Game 1, as sophomore right-hander Hunter Campbell (Lynchburg, Va.) began the tournament with a trio of scoreless innings. After a one-two-three first, Campbell pitched around a leadoff double in the second, leaving the bases loaded.

The Hornets offense got going in the fourth inning when sophomore right fielder Austin Keesee (Chesterfield, Va.) was hit by a pitch with one out and came around to score on an RBI groundout by senior first baseman Matt Ward (Newton, N.C.).

Roanoke, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, bounced back in a big way with four runs in the bottom half thanks to a pair of two-run singles from catcher Gavin Kandrick and center fielder Cody Shell.

The Maroons broke the game open with five runs in the fifth, taking advantage of four walks and three hits -- the big one a bases-clearing double by Shell. Roanoke added its final run in the eighth.

Lynchburg tallied just four hits in the contest, led by Ward's 1-for-3 effort with an RBI. Fletcher Mazzola earned the win for RC, while Campbell took the loss for the Hornets.

The Maroons wasted no time snagging the lead in Game 2, plating a pair of runs in the first inning and two more in the second.

LC scratched a run across in the bottom of the third, a rally begun by Keesee's leadoff single. The sophomore came home on sophomore left fielder Shawn Allen's (Columbus, N.J.) RBI groundout to shortstop.

With Roanoke leading 7-1 in the seventh, the Hornets mounted another rally. Freshman shortstop Parker Shaffer (Richmond, Va.) kicked off the rally with an infield single, and he came home on Keesee's double two batters later that made it second and third with one out for the Hornets. After a pitching change, Allen singled home another run, and Keesee came home on a wild pitch to cut Roanoke's advantage to 7-4.

The momentum didn't last, however, as Roanoke took advantage of back-to-back triples in the top of the eighth to expand the lead to 10-4, where it would stay until the end of the ballgame.

Junior right-hander Graham Boggio (Midlothian, Va.) took the loss for Lynchburg, while Pat Burke earned the win for the Maroons.

Lynchburg finishes the season with a 16-24 record overall and 8-12 in the conference in its first season under head coach Lucas Jones.