MOCKSVILLE, NC – The WSSU Rams baseball team brought out the big sticks on Sunday, smashing five home runs on the afternoon, as the Rams swept a double header from the Bluefield State Blues, 9-3 and 6-2, and giving WSSU head coach, Kevin Ritsche, his 200th win as WSSU coach.
With the wins, Winston-Salem State moves to 18-17 overall, while Bluefield State falls to 9-24 on the season.
In game one, WSSU struck early, as Jason Baytop led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run to deep left field to give the Rams the early advantage.
The Rams would add to their lead in the second, when WSSU exploded for three runs on three hits, and helped out by two Bluefield State errors. Orlando Cannon, Jason Baytop and Emilio Abreu picked up rbi's to give Winston-Salem State at 4-0 lead.
Bluefield State answered with a big inning of their own, plating three runs on three hit and also got the help of one WSSU error, to trim the Rams lead to 4-3.
An inning later, the Rams looked to slam the door on the Blues, as they would use the long ball to put the game out of reach. Jason Baytop led off with a double down the left field line, and would be brought home on a Emilio Abreu single to left center. Nathan Steger would blast a two run home run to right center field and Ivan Acuna would hit a solo bomb to left field to give WSSU a 8-3 lead.
WSSU would add another run in the sixth, when Michael McNamara homered to center field, giving WSSU a 9-3 lead that they would hold on to, to take game one.
Justin Norton picked up the win for WSSU, going 5.0 innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out seven. Garrison Roy pitched 2.0 innings out of the bullpen, allowing two hits and striking out two.
Emilio Abreu finished 3 for 4 with two runs batted in and one run scored, while Jason Baytop went 2 for 4 with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored. Nathan Steger went 1 for 3 with two runs batted in and one run scored. Ivan Acuna went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and one run batted in, and Michael McNamara went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and one run batted in. Randy Norris also went 1 for 3, and Orlando Cannon finished 1 for 4 with a run batted in.
In game two, Bluefield State jumped out early to a 2-0 lead, as they crossed the plate twice on one hit and one WSSU error to take the early advantage.
The Rams would answer in the bottom of the first inning, as Jason Baytop led off with a single and eventually worked his way around the base paths, scoring on a wild pitch to cut the Bluefield State lead to 2-1.
WSSU would take their first lead of the game in the third inning, when Ivan Acuna would hit a two run home run, his second of the day, and also scoring Nathan Steger, to give WSSU a 3-2 lead.
Winston-Salem State would seal the game away in the sixth inning, when Nathan Steger would single to left field, scoring Rashad Webster and Brandon Fowler. Steger would neventually7 come home on a wild pitch, to give the Rams a 6-2 lead.
Jordan Cummings came out of the bullpen and promptly slammed the door on Bluefield State, giving the Rams the win, and Head Coach Kevin Ritsche his 200th career win at Winston-Salem State University.
Kanoa Hironaka got the win for the Rams, pitching 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Jordan Cummings got the save, pitching the final 2.0 innings, striking out four Bluefield State batters.
Nathan Steger finished 1 for 3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored, while Ivan Acuna went 1 for 3 with a home run, two runs batted in and a run scored. Jason Baytop went 1 for 2 with a run scored, and Randy Norris also went 1 for 2, along with Jonathan Cummings and Orlando Cannon.
Winston-Salem State will travel to Catawba on Tuesday evening, and to UVA-Wise on Wednesday, before hosting St. Augustine's University in a four game weekend series at Asheboro's, McCrary Park.