The Lenoir Oilers scored 12 runs on 15 hits, including two home runs from Killan Daughtry (Carson-Newman College), to defeat the Statesville Owls 12-4 in a game that was ended in the seventh inning due to lightning.
Umpires and team managers met after lightning struck and determined to call the game as a storm approached, ending the Owls chance at a comeback.
Oiler pitcher Mitch Rogers (Western Carolina University) earned the win by pitching the entire 7 ⅓ innings for Lenoir, recording seven strikeouts while allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.
Statesville starter Mitchell Keener (Belmont Abbey College) suffered the loss in his two innings, giving up eight runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking three.
Oiler bats started the game hot, with Will Jones (Lenoir-Rhyne University) and Garrison Burress (Catawba Valley Community College) each hitting ground ball singles. When Hagan Alberson (Erskine College) threw over first base attempting to turn a double play, Lenoir scored the game’s first run.
After Rogers retired the side, Lenoir maintained its momentum in the second inning. After Jordan Mann (Lenoir-Rhyne University) walked to lead the inning, Zach Driggers (Toccoa Falls College) cranked a home run to right field. JR Jensen (Rockingham Community College) drew another walk, and Jackson Brown (Catawba Valley Community College) scored him with a base hit to right field.
Burress and Alberson again led the Oiler batting order with a pair of hits -- this time doubles. And when Daughtry slammed a home run into center field, Statesville found itself in a 8-0 hole midway through the second inning.
But Statesville showcased its own firepower in its half of the second inning. After Kelsey Weems (Rockingham Community College) was hit by a pitch, Hunter Dula (Wingate University) doubled to right field placing two Owls on base. Grayson Chapman (UNC Greensboro) followed by driving a hit off the center field wall and a single from Caleb Henderson (Montreat College) cut the deficit to five.
Fourth inning hits from David Kennedy (Catawba Valley Community College) and Brown put Oilers on second and third base. But Statesville center fielder Ausar Rankin (Rockingham Community College) caught a line drive and launched a precise throw home to throw out Kennedy and help end the threat.
Weems singled in Statesville’s half of the fourth inning, and Chapman’s base hit into left field further trimmed the Oiler lead to four.
Daughtry hit his second home run in the fifth inning, blasting a solo shot to center field.
Lenoir again caught fire in the seventh inning, started by a solo home run to center field from Jones. After Daughtry walked, Mann slammed a two-run homer to right field boosting the Oiler lead to 12-4.