LYNCHBURG, Va. --- The No. 18 Shenandoah University baseball team claimed its second-ever ODAC championship with an 8-4 win in 10 innings over No. 13 Roanoke College Sunday afternoon. The Hornets (34-10) earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs with the victory over 2017 champion Roanoke (31-11). SU will find out its regional placement on Monday morning.
After giving up a four-run lead to the Maroons in the sixth, Shenandoah scored four runs in the 10th to pull away. Sophomore Keegan Woolford, who was named to the All-Tournament team along with Chase Smallwood, Michael Bugonowicz, Luke Nussman, Robert Marcelle, Nick Goode and Tristan Baker, got the rally started by leading off the 10th with a solo home run to right center. Smallwood followed with a single and after being sacrificed to second, Christian Rice drove him home on a single to center. Marcelle, who had drawn a walk, also scored on the play as the Maroons booted the ball in center for a two-base error. Rice closed out the scoring by coming home on a Henry Delavergne sacrifice fly.
Bugonowicz came on in relief of Gerard DePhillips and got three straight outs, sandwiching a strikeout around a pair of flyouts, to clinch the championship. DePhillips (6-1) earned the win with one inning of work. He struck out one and did not allow a hit.
Shenandoah need the extra inning heroics as Roanoke touched up SU starter Michael Prosperi for four runs on five hits in the sixth. The Hornets had a 4-0 lead heading into that inning before Jack Howard, Gavin Candrick and Dean Hermanson all singled to load the bases with one out. Cody Shell followed with a two-run double down the left field line to get Roanoke on the board and chase Prosperi. Jonathan Dance induced a groundout that plated Hermanson and got Shell to center. Shell scored the final run of the frame on Sean Guida single to left center.
Three consecutive two-out hits led to the Hornets first run of the game. Nussman started it off with a single to right center and advanced to third on Woolford's single through the right side. Smallwood, the leading hitter in the ODAC, then laced a single back through the box to bring Nussman home.
Nussman figured into the Hornets second run, looping a single to center with one out in the fifth to plate Henry Delavergne from second. One batter later, Woolford drove home Baker on a fielder's choice to first. Baker had walked and advanced to third on Nussman's single. The Maroons switched pitchers for Smallwood, and Smallwood greeted Diego Menses with a sacrifice fly to left center.
Meneses (1-1) took the loss for the Maroons despite pitching 5.0 innings of solid relief. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks.
Notes: The NCAA Tournament berth is the Hornets ninth in the past 10 years... Shenandoah has appeared in three finals - 2014, 2015 and 2018 and won titles in latter two years...
2018 ODAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
P: Michael Bugonowicz, SU
P: Diego Meneses, RC
C: Chase Smallwood, SU
IF: Dean Hermanson, RC
IF: Jack Howard, RC
IF: Robbie Marcelle, SU
IF: Luke Nussman, SU
OF: Nick Goode, SU
OF: Sean Guida, RC
OF: Cole Migliorini, R-MC
DH: Keegan Woolford SU
UT: Jacob Pilarski, VWU
MOP: Tristan Baker, 2B, SU