Home Run in Ninth Lifts W&L Baseball to 3-2 Win over H-SC

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Sophomore designated hitter Alston James (Columbia, S.C./Hammond) led off the ninth inning with a solo home run to left field to break a 2-2 tie and propel the Washington and Lee baseball team to a 3-2 victory over Hampden-Sydney on day three of the ODAC Championship at City Stadium in Lynchburg.

James' homerun, his second of the season, made a winner of junior Gregg Laswell (Houston, Texas/Memorial) who tossed 3.0 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out three in relief of sophomore Jody Davis (Mclean, Va./Langley).
Davis pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk.
W&L  (14-18) fell behind 1-0 in the fourth inning after the Tigers' (23-10-1) Herbie Williams led off with a single, stole second and was then driven in by shortstop Chris Martin.
W&L then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning on a two-out, two-run single from senior third baseman Jim Plantholt (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) that scored senior second baseman John Ditore (Seattle, Wash./Bishop Blanchet) and sophomore centerfielder Mike Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury).
Hampden-Sydney tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh inning on an RBI double off the bat of Justin Hebert.
H-SC seemed poised to break the game wide open in the seventh as the Tigers had six baserunners in the inning, but sophomore rightfielder Anthony Cardona (Lower Gwynedd, Pa./Chestnut Hill) threw out Hebert at the plate trying to score on a single by Erick Hermann. Laswell then picked Hermann off of first base and following a hit batsman, struck out Williams with the bases loaded to end the threat.
W&L had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning, but a fly out and groundout ended the threat. Laswell set the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the eighth to set up James' heroics in the ninth.
Decembrino finished 2-for-5 with a run scored to lead the Generals. Senior catcher Will Lewis (Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora) added two hits in five at-bats and first-year shortstop Jonathan Stutts (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) was 1-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.
Mike Blanchard started for H-SC and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Tyler Napier took the loss (0-1) for the Tigers, allowing one run in 1.1 innings of relief.
Matt Brown finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored for Hampden-Sydney. Hebert and Martin both finished 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Williams was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
With the win, the Generals will now take on Lynchburg on Saturday evening at 7:00 pm, with the winner advancing to the ODAC Championship game on Sunday.