Patrick Henry Community College baseball played its first homestand this weekend, and make good use of having the final at-bats.
The Patriots won two games on a walkoff in extra innings on the way to taking three of four games against Lackawanna College.
PHCC won both ends of Sunday's doubleheader, 5-4 and 6-5.
Sunday's extra inning heroes were Bassett graduate Christian Easley and sophomore Brandon Cleveland. With the score tied 4-4 at the start of the eighth, Easley, the Patriots No. 9 hitter, led off the inning with a double that reached the right-centerfield wall. After stealing third, he came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Cleveland that carried just deep enough into right field to bring the speedster home.
Easley finished Game 1 2-2 at the plate with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored. He had another hit, run, and stolen base in Game 2.
“He's a home grown talent here from Martinsville and we're excited to have him,” PHCC coach Cody Ellis said of Easley. “He's really turned it on this weekend so I'm eager to see where the rest of the season is going to go for him.”
Lackawanna came into the weekend series ranked No. 18 nationally by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
In Game 1, Lackawanna jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to two runs in the first and two more off the bat of Marlon Lindsey, who hit a ball well over the left field fence and into the street for a 2-run homerun in the third.
The Patriots pitchers settled the Falcon's bats the rest of the way, allowing just three more hits and four total base runners in the final five innings.
PHCC evened the score in the bottom of the fourth off of two doubles, a single, three walks, and a hit-by-pitch.
The Patriots had good days at the plate up and down the lineup. All but one hitter got on at least once in the first game, and every player 1-9 reached at least once in the second. PH finished to day with 13 hits, nine RBIs, and 10 walks.
“We've been trying to make adjustments here the last couple of weeks and they're really buying into it, but it's on them,” Ellis said. “They've been doing a great job during practice to make those adjustments so it paid off today and it showed.”
Aggressiveness on the basepaths also paid off for the Patriots. In Game 1, they stole three bases, two of which eventually came around to score. In Game 2, they stole five bases, including back-to-back steals of second and third by Cleveland and Max Harper.
“That's part of our game. Anytime we can get in scoring position we're going to take advantage of that,” Ellis said. “We're going to go right at everybody and we're going to keep it to them. They're going to have to make plays.”
In Game 2, Lackawanna again took the lead early. The Falcons scored once in the first, and twice in the fourth to go up 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth PHCC batted around and scored three runs on two singles and four walks to take the lead.
Lackawanna threatened in the bottom of the seventh while trailing 6-3. The Falcons scored two runs and had two runners on before reliever Seth Bonar finished with a clutch strikeout to ensure the win.
“That was our goal to win two in a row today,” Ellis said. “All three of those were good team wins. We had two walkoffs which is always special for those guys and we're going to carry that into our first conference weekend next week.”
PHCC won Game 1, 3-2, on Saturday in eight innings, and fell in Game 2, 12-7.
Max Harper finished Sunday 5-7 at the plate with two RBIs, two stolen bases, and a run scored. Cole Rigney was 3-7 with three RBIs and a run scored.
PHCC improves to 6-6 on the year. They'll return home on Saturday for a 3-game slate against Region X opponent Pitt Community College. The first game of a doubleheader Saturday will begin at 1 p.m.
Patrick Henry Community College 5, Lackawanna College 4
LC 202 000 00 – 4 8 1
PHCC 000 400 01 – 5 8 0
PHCC hitters: B. Cleveland 0-2, BB, sac, RBI; C. Kelley 0-2, BB, SB; J. Kramer 1-4, RBI; R. Shavers 1-2, HBP, BB, RBI; T. Moyers 0-4; C. Rigney 1-4, 2B, R, SB;E. Lam 0-3, HBP; M. Harper 3-4, 2B, RBI, R; C. Easley 2-2, 2B, BB, sac, 2R, SB;
PHCC pitching: D. Parker-McDonald 5IP, 4R, 7H; J. Matheny 2IP, K, BB; T. Stephan IP, H, K
Patrick Henry Community College 6, Lackawanna College 5
LC 100 200 2 – 5 5 3
PHCC 011 030 X – 6 7 1
PHCC hitting: B. Cleveland 0-3, BB, 2SB, R; C. Kelley 0-3, BB, R; J. Kramer 1-3, BB, R, RBI; R. Shavers 1-2, BB, R; C. Rigney 2-3, 3RBI; C. Easley 1-3, R, SB; E. Lam 0-2, BB; M. Harper 2-3, RBI, 2SB; H. Steel 0-2, BB, RBI
PHCC pitching: D. Harlow 3.1IP, 4H, 3R; J. Borrero 2.2IP, 0H, 0R; S. Bonar IP, 2R, 2H, 2BB, K
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