Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NCWC's Long wins 300th game; Bishops post victory No. 1,000

NCWC Sports Information

North Carolina Wesleyan College head baseball coach Charlie Long earned the 300th win of his career on Sunday as the Battling Bishops turned in a 5-2 victory over USA South rival Methodist University in Fayetteville.

Coupled with Saturday’s 5-4 defeat of the Monarchs, the Bishops were able to sweep the series and take over sole possession of first place in the league standings with 3-1 conference record. Wesleyan has now won 10 of its last 11 contests to move to 14-11 overall.

Long, a Northern Nash graduate, chalked up his 299th victory on Saturday in NCWC’s series-opening 5-4 victory.

Wesleyan took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when senior Luke Williford singled, stole second and third, and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

The Monarchs (16-7, 2-2) answered with a pair of runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead, but the Bishops countered with two of their own in their next at-bat. Sophomore Zach Alexander led off the inning with a solo blast to right-center, and Williford later drove in a run with an RBI-single to right.

Down 3-2, Methodist again plated a pair in the fourth and maintained its 4-3 advantage until the eighth inning. It was then that Williford struck again, this time with a two-out, two-run single that proved to be the game-winner.

NCWC starter Jonathan Lucas went six complete, allowing four runs on 11 hits and striking out four in the no-decision.

Freshman Ben Franceschi (2-0) earned the win in relief after tossing a scoreless 2.0 innings, which set the stage for junior John Child’s fourth save of the season.

Williford finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, while Zollie Woodlief and Alexander each had two hits. Wesleyan ripped 10 hits as a team in the contest.

Saturday’s victory set the stage for Long’s milestone win on Sunday, and senior righty Ben Moore made sure his coach did not have to wait.

Moore (3-1) tossed a complete game, scattering six hits and allowing just two runs while striking out five and walking one.

Long’s 300th coaching victory is the second major milestone for the N.C. Wesleyan baseball program in the past two weeks.

The Battling Bishops also turned in the program’s 1,000th overall victory with a recent 12-10 win over Piedmont College at Bauer Field.

NCWC has three players from Nash County on its roster and all three are Northern Nash alums: Andrew Webb, Daniel Moore and Lucas.

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