Two Lincoln Pitchers Toss A Combined No-Hitter As Lions Open Season With Two Wins Over Urbana

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Lincoln PA No Hitter

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Terence Berry and Marcos Castillo combined to toss a no-hitter as Lincoln University opened the 2017 baseball season by taking two out of three games in a weekend series against Urbana University.  The series was played at Liberty University’s LU Baseball Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Lions swept Saturday’s doubleheader 7-0 and 5-4 while dropping the final game of the series on Sunday, 12-11.  The opening day doubleheader sweep marked the first time a Lincoln baseball program won their first two games since the 2006 season.

The no-hitter tossed in the opening game by Berry and Castillo is the first one ever thrown during Lincoln’s NCAA Division II era which began in 2010 and the program’s first since the 2006 season (March 10, 2006 vs. Gallaudet).

Berry started and pitched the first five innings, striking out nine Urbana batters.  He struggled a bit with control, walking the bases loaded in the second and putting the first two on with a walk and a hit-by-pitch in the third but each time worked his way out of the jam.  In the second inning he induced a simple infield groundout to end the inning and in the third, struck out the side leaving both Urbana runners stranded.   Castillo entered to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning and tossed the last two innings to earn the save and complete the combined no-hitter.

On the offensive side, the Lions got on the board in the third inning when Ron Lashley got hit by a pitch with two out and later scored on DeVante Parker’s single.  Lincoln scored twice more in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead.  Julian Bradshaw (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooklyn Generation HS) walked with the bases loaded for the Lions first run of the inning and Lashley later launched a sacrifice fly to right field to score Brendan Sherman-Johnson (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytech HS)  to make the score 3-0.

Lincoln blew the game open with four runs in their final at-bat in the top of the seventh inning.  Singles from Marquis Coleman (Middle River , Md./Baltimore Polytech HS), Lashley and Michael Howard (Bronx, N.Y./Utica College) produced the first run.  Lincoln got two more as Lashley and Howard scored as the result of an infield error and Joshua Roberson (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley HS) followed with a single to score Parker who had gotten on via the error, rounding out the scoring for the Lions.

Castillo gave up a one-out walk in Urbana’s final at-bat before closing out the game.

In Saturday’s game two, Josh Roberson hit a solo home run and Rolando Alvarez (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional HS) earned his first career win as the Lions held off a seventh inning rally by the Knights to complete the sweep with a 5-4 win.

Alvarez tossed six innings of three-hit baseball, giving up just one run while striking out two.  Yasser Ortiz (Carolina, P.R./Juan Jose’ Osuna) came in to pitch the seventh and earned the save.

A two-out triple from Aidan Gomes (Bronx, NY/LaSalle Academy) scored Roberson in the second and Gomes scored on Coleman’s single to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.  Roberson’s solo home run in the fourth inning pushed the lead to 3-0 before the Knights got on the scoreboard via a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth.

Parker drove in two more Lion runs for insurance in the top half of the fifth inning scoring Howard and Lashley, giving Lincoln a 5-1 lead.  The Lions would need all of that insurance as the Knights loaded the bases in their final at-bat  with Dylan Sheffer delivering a three-run bases clearing double, making the score 5-4.   Ortiz then struck out Nick Gallagher to end the game and earn the save.

In the final game of the series, the Lions banged out 13 hits off four Urbana pitchers but need a five run eighth inning to tie the game at 11-11 before the Knights plated an unearned run in the ninth to hand Lincoln their first loss of the season 12-11.

Castillo took the loss in relief, tossing 3.1 innings and allowing two runs (one earned), while striking out three.  Orlando Roberson (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley HS) started and went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits.  Luis Nieves (Staten Island, N.Y./LaSalle Academy) pitched 1.2 innings and gave up four runs.

Lashley and Parker had three hits apiece while Josh Roberson and Parker recorded two RBI apiece.

The Lions scored runs in each of the first four innings.  In the first, Lashley led off the game for Lincoln with a triple and scored on Howard’s infield groundout.  Gabriel Santiago (Bronx, N.Y./Mount Saint Michael Academy) followed with a single three batters later to score Parker, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.  An Urbana error and a Parker sacrifice fly increased the Lions lead to 4-1 after two innings.

Coleman’s fielder’s choice scored Dominic Rheubottom (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytech HS) in the third inning to make the score 5-2 before the Knights plated four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-5 lead.  In the bottom of the fourth, Bradshaw walked, stole second and scored on Howard’s single to tie the game at 6-6.

The Knights retook the lead with another four run inning by Urbana in the sixth pushed their lead to 11-6 with one more run in the seventh.

The Lions tied it in the bottom of the eighth with a five run outburst.  Rheubottom was hit by a pitch to start the inning and scored on Gomes’ single.  After Bradshaw hit a one-out double, Gomes scored on Lashley’s single, his third hit of the day.  Bradshaw later scored as Lashley was caught trying to steal second.  Josh Roberson then added the big blow to tie the game, a two-out two run double to score Parker and Howard.

Momentum shifted back to Urbana however in top of the ninth inning as the knights took advantage of an infield throwing error to score the go-ahead run.  The Lions went down in order in the ninth as UU’s Robbie Guerrero picked up the save in relief of Bradley Burkholder who earned the win.

Lincoln returns to action with a non-conference doubleheader against Nyack College on Friday, February 24, 2017.  The games will be played at Maplezone Sports Institute in Aston, Pennsylvania.

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