VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College's baseball team knocked out four hits to help produce a five-run fourth inning Tuesday, sparking the Marlins to an 8-4 non-conference victory over the Apprentice School Builders on Marlins Field.
Apprentice (13-10) led 3-1 entering the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Nik Milvo (Norfolk/Chesapeake Indian River) singled to ignite a rally by the Marlins (10-5). Senior Scott Montgomery(Virginia Beach/Tallwood) hit an RBI single and rookie Brandon Kussmaul(Virginia Beach/Landstown) and junior Justin Erby (Norfolk/Lake Taylor) loaded bases with consecutive walks. A two-run single from junior Matt Murray(Nottingham, Pa./Quarryville Solanco) moved the Marlins in front 4-3 and a two-run double into left from Taylor Erby (Norfolk/Lake Taylor)increased the VWC lead to 6-3.
Three straight walks and a wild pitch led to a run for the Builders in the top of the sixth to cut the VWC lead to 6-4, but it never got closer the rest of the way. The Marlins tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh with the help of singles from seniors Zach Bach(Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox) and Jordan Miller(Chesapeake/Grassfield) and two Apprentice errors.
Virginia Wesleyan finished with a 10-7 advantage in hits, led by Taylor Erby with a double and single and Murray with three singles. Mike Brumfield (Toano/Warwhill) topped Apprentice hitting with a double.
Five pitchers took the mound for the Marlins, starting with sophomore Patrick Barrett(Wantagh, N.Y./Gen. Douglas MacArthur) who worked 3.1 innings. He struck out one, walked one, and allowed five hits. Reed Duffer(Keysville/Randolph Henry), Kyle Piper(Virginia Beach/Floyd E. Kellam), Nick Ott(Virginia Beach/Bishop Sullivan Catholic) all pitched in relief, before Dylan Stokus (Ashburn/Arlington Bishop O'Connell) entered for the final inning to close the game. Piper led the pitchers with three strikeouts. Stokus added two.
Taylor Gomer (Smithfield/Isle of Wight Academy) threw for 6.1 innings for the Builders, striking out three, walking three, and allowing 10 hits. Sam Massie (Hampton/Hampton) closed for Apprentice.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition Saturday, April 4, playing at Shenandoah University in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference doubleheader starting at noon.