Danville, Va. -- University of Lynchburg's baseball team got two runners aboard in the top of the ninth but couldn't push the tying run across in a 5-4 non-conference defeat at Averett Tuesday afternoon.
Lynchburg scored in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to knot the score at 4-4 through 7 ½ innings, but Averett scored in the bottom of the eighth to retake the lead and held on for the victory.
Sophomore left fielder Parker Shaffer (Richmond, Va.) and sophomore first baseman Avery Combs (Lynchburg, Va.) each went 2-for-5 at the dish for Lynchburg, and freshman catcher Holden Fiedler (Henrico, Va.) scored two of Lynchburg's runs.
Freshman right-hander Brendan Houghtaling (Moseley, Va.) struck out three Cougars in two scoreless innings of relief in his collegiate debut.
Final: Averett 5, Lynchburg 4
Records: Averett 1-4, Lynchburg 1-2
Venue: Owen-Fulton Field, Averett University North Campus, Danville, Va.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither team was able to get on the board early as sophomore left-hander Adam Dofflemyer (Harrionsburg, Va.) and Houghtaling held Averett at bay through four innings. Lynchburg's offense managed just one hit in that time.
Averett broke through for two runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and a first-and-third pickoff play that turned into an inning-ending rundown.
The Hornets promptly tied the game at 2 in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI double from freshman right fielder Kaden Warren (Berryville, Va.) a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman shortstop Brian Sheeder (Sutherland, Va.).
The Cougars rallied for two more runs in the bottom half of the inning, but Lynchburg responded again in the seventh. Combs knocked an RBI infield single to cut the deficit to a single run.
Lynchburg threatened again in the eighth, and Shaffer came through with a two-out, RBI double in the right-center field gap that plated Fielder. Sheeder was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first, though, and the teams entered the bottom half tied, 4-4.
Averett loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth and scored on a hit-by-pitch, but Lynchburg evaded the inning without further damage.
The Hornets threatened in the ninth with a one-out single from Combs followed by a walk from freshman third baseman Garrett Jackson (Virginia Beach, Va.), but a strikeout and flyout ended the ballgame.
Lynchburg heads to Fayetteville, N.C., and Methodist University for the Armstrong/Diamond Invitational. The Hornets will take on Penn State-Behrend and Rutgers-Camden Saturday, Feb. 23 before a date the following day with the host Monarchs.