BUENA VISTA—Ferrum College overcame an early, one-run deficit and preserved a two-run advantage in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday for a 7-5 non-conference baseball triumph over Southern Virginia University.
The Panthers (5-13) end a six-game losing streak with their victory over the Knights (0-11).
Trailing by two runs in the last of the ninth, Southern Virginia faced two Ferrum pitchers, and they were able to load the bases without the aid of a hit.
But, the Knights stranded all three base runners after Ethan Westgate retired each of the last two batters he faced on a pop-up to first and a strikeout after delivering a called third-strike pitch.
Westgate, the last of four Ferrum pitchers, took the mound with one out and with the tying runs aboard at first and second base and the winning run at the plate. He earned a save—his second this season—for his 2/3 of an inning of work.
“I’m really proud of our guys. We battled adversity and preserved. Our players have continued to grind and work hard and get better,’’ Ferrum dugout boss Ryan Brittle said.
Ferrum outhit Southern Virginia, 13-10, and benefited from two Knights’ errors, while committing one defensive miscue.
The Panthers led 2-0 after Josh Greenway’s sacrifice fly to centerfield brought Rufus Hurdle home from third and Ozzie Torres home from second in the top of the first frame.
The Knights erased that deficit in the bottom of the first when Brady Lamb drove in a run with a double to left center field and Tyler Callens plated two runs with a single to center field.
Lamb’s double was Southern Virginia’s lone extra base hit.
Trailing 3-2, the Panthers took the lead for good, courtesy of a two-run fourth.
A single to left field by Clayton Michael brought Grey Sherfey home with the tying run, and later in the frame, Jacob Brady would score when Darden Eure-Parrish reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Michael’s RBI double to right center was the highlighted hit of Ferrum’s three-run eighth.
Michael would score on an infield single by Eure-Parrish to make the count 6-3 and Parrish would come home on an Ozzie Torres’ base hit to left field that pushed the spread to four runs.
Southern Virginia cut two runs off the deficit in the last of the eighth on a Cole Campanile single.
Besides Michael, Torres and Matt Yarbrough smacked doubles for the Panthers.
Michael was 4 of 4 at the plate with a run and two RBIs, while Eure-Parrish was 1 of 2 with a run and two RBI.
Panthers starter Colin Bates (1-0), a freshman, earned his first collegiate win by working 7 1/3 innings. He permitted nine hits and four earned runs, while striking out five.
Southern Virginia starter Austin Forsyth (0-4) surrendered seven hits and three earned runs in five innings pitched. He struck out three.
Campanile was 1 of 1 at the plate with two RBIs and Nick Daynes was 3 of 3 with a run.
Ferrum has three ODAC home games scheduled this weekend at W.B. Adams Field.
The Panthers play a doubleheader Saturday against Virginia Wesleyan University with games at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Sunday, Ferrum faces Bridgewater College at 2 p.m.
A conference game against Guilford (N.C.) College scheduled for Wednesday at home was postponed.
No make-up date has been announced.