Stevenson Jumps on No. 15 Captains Early, Posts 8-5 Win

Stevenson Jumps on No. 15 Captains Early, Posts 8-5 Win

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Stevenson University scored seven times over the first three innings en route to a 8-5 win over No. 15 Christopher Newport University in non-conference baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Captains Park.

The win marked the first for the Mustangs over a ranked opponent since a 8-4 win over No. 16 Johns Hopkins on April 4, 2011.

Stevenson (7-8) was led at the plate by senior Nick Peifer, who went 4-4 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI.  The Mustangs outhit Christopher Newport (12-4) 11-5, with sophomore Jake Hall also finishing with a pair of hits for Stevenson.   Senior Ian Eberly extended his hit streak to six games with a two-run single in the second.

After a scoreless first, the Mustangs scored four times in the top of the second.  Junior Kevin Kopas doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on a double by Peifer.  Sophomore Jake Dimon reached on an error on his sacrifice attempt, allowing Peifer to score.  Freshman Matthew Kerber walked, then with two outs, Eberly's single up the middle plated both Kerber and Dimon.

The Captains got two runs back in the bottom half before Stevenson tacked on three runs in the third, knocking CNU starter Jaxn Lane out of the game.  With two out and no one on, Peifer singled, followed by a single by Dimon to make it 5-2.  A Hall triple brought in Dimon, while Kerber welcomed Captain reliever Craig Johnson with a single to score Hall.

Christopher Newport scored a run in the bottom half of the third to make it 7-3, where it remained until Peifer homered over the left field foul pole in the fifth for the last Mustang run.  The Captains scored twice in the eighth and threatened to pull closer as senior Trevor Fitzsimmons inherited a bases-loaded, one out situation, but recorded a strikeout and a pop up to get out of the jam.

Freshman Jason Bidwell tossed 4.2 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win, allowing two hits while notching a pair of strikeouts and walking two.  He retired seven straight Captain batters from the fourth through the sixth.  Fitzsimmons allowed just a walk in the ninth to register his second save of the season.

Stevenson opens MAC Commonwealth play on Friday when it travels to Alvernia University for a 3:30 contest.  The Crusaders are the defending conference champions.