BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Wofford SID) – The No. 22 Wofford baseball team was firing on all cylinders at J. L. Griffin Field with 20 hits en route to a 16-6 mercy rule win Sunday afternoon over Samford. The Terriers improve to 31-13, 9-3 in the SoCon. The Bulldogs fall to 20-21, 7-5 in league play.
Wofford reliever Holden Wilder (6-0) earned the win after 0.2 innings pitched with two runs allowed on one hit with one strikeout. Coulson Buchanan started for the Terriers, posting 4.1 innings of work with four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk. He tallied three punchouts. Luke Stephens tossed 1.0 inning of shutout ball with a strikeout, and Dalton Rhadans polished off the final 2.0 frames with no runs and two K’s.
Samford reliever Brody Westbrooks (3-3) suffered the loss after surrendering three runs on four hits in 0.2 innings.
Wofford out-hit Samford 20-9 in the contest, with the 20 hits being a single-game high for the Terriers this season. Every player in the starting nine tallied a base hit with all but one notching multi-hit days. Nolen Hester led the way with four hits and two RBI, and Jack Renwick posted three hits and two RBI. Brennen Dorighi and Brice Martinez both claimed four RBI on two hits. Both of Dorighi’s hits were long balls to become the third Terrier with a multi-homer game this season. Martinez also clubbed a dinger for his first homer as a Terrier. Along with Hester and Renwick, Gunnar Johnson contributed a pair of runs batted in for a multi-RBI effort.
Though only tallying one hit, John Dempsey’s lone knock was a big one for the senior. His single in the fifth inning was his 200th career hit, making him the 13th player in Wofford history to reach the 200-hit milestone.
Wofford jumped on the board quickly with a big fly in the top of the first. Nolen Hester led-off the game with a single, and Lawson Hill reached on a catcher’s interference to give Brennen Dorighi two runners on base. He would bring everyone home when he belted a three-run jack to centerfield, giving the Terriers a 3-0 lead.
The Terriers tacked on another run in the top of the fourth. After Marshall Toole was hit by a pitch, he stole second to advance to scoring position. Brice Martinez then singled up to middle to plate Toole and give Wofford a 4-0 lead.
Samford fought back in the bottom of the frame to pull within a run. An RBI single put the Bulldogs on the board, and a few batters later another single scored two runs to bring the score to 4-3.
Though Wofford was held off the board in the fifth, it scored another milestone. John Dempsey entered the game with 199 career hits, and with a single down the right field line the senior reached the coveted 200 mark.
The Bulldogs pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth. Their own three-run homer shifted the score to 6-4 in favor of Samford.
The Terriers played long ball twice in the top of the sixth to pull back in front. Dorighi launched his second home run of the day, a solo bomb to center, to bring Wofford within a run. After Toole singled, Martinez lifted a two-run round-tripper to left to put the Terriers ahead 7-6.
Wofford padded its lead in the seventh. The Terriers loaded the bases for Gunnar Johnson, who singled through the left side to bring home one run. The left fielder then misplayed the ball, allowing another run to come in by virtue of his error. The two runners left on the basepaths didn’t stay there long, as Hester plated them both with his two-run single. Wofford’s lead became 11-6.
The Terriers blew the game open with five runs in the eighth. Jack Renwick knocked a two-run single to center to begin the scoring. Johnson then brought Renwick home with a double to right. A fielder error later in the frame allowed another runner to score, and Dempsey’s sacrifice fly extended the lead to 10 at 16-6.
Samford secured two baserunners in the bottom of the frame, but they were both stranded as Wofford secured the 16-6 run-rule triumph.
The 22nd-ranked Terriers return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Asheville, N.C. for a matchup with another set of Bulldogs. Wofford takes on UNC Asheville in a midweek affair slated for a 5:00 p.m. first pitch to conclude the stretch of nine consecutive road games.