Memphis, Tenn. – Wade Lopiccolo led an offensive barrage for the Transylvania baseball team, which picked up its first win of the 2020 season on Saturday afternoon, defeating the No. 18 Coe College Kohawks 9-6 at Stauffer Field on the campus of Rhodes College.
After pushing the number-two team in the nation to the brink the previous day in their season opener before falling in 10 innings, the Pioneers swarmed their second nationally-ranked opponent in as many days, erupting for 15 hits on the afternoon to move to 1-1 on the season.
Coe fell to 1-1 overall following Saturday's contest with the Pioneers.
Lopiccolo went 4 for 5 from the plate with two runs batted in, helping the Pioneers construct a go-ahead 4-3 lead in the top of the second that they would build upon for the rest of the afternoon. The four hits represented a new career single-game high for Lopiccolo.
Jake Schmidt claimed the win for the Pioneers on the mound, working seven strong innings with six strikeouts against one walk in his 2020 debut.
The Pioneers made their offense apparent from the opening inning as Riley Willbur scored Devyn Wilson-Cowan on a sacrifice fly RBI to take a 1-0 lead. Coe quickly responded in the bottom half of the frame as Coe produced a lead-off walk against Schmidt and plated the tying run on an RBI double. The Kohawks tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the first on back-to-back RBI hits to grab a 3-1 lead.
After giving up three hits in the first inning, Schmidt held Coe in check with six dominant innings, only yielding three more hits the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Pioneer offense continued to heat up with three immediate runs in the top of the second inning to go back in front of the Kohawks. After Michael Blair and Lopiccolo each led off with back-to-back base hits, Henry Molloy scored Blair on an infield error and Griffin Hall drove in Lopiccolo on an RBI single. Wilson-Cowan amplified his 3-for-4 day at the plate with an ensuing RBI double to score Molloy and hand the Pioneers a 4-3 advantage.
The Pioneers added to their lead in the top of the third on RBI singles from Lopiccolo and Medford to craft a 6-1 lead. Lopiccolo rose to the challenge again in the top of the fifth inning, scoring Blair on an RBI single. Molloy later hit a single towards third to score Lopiccolo for an 8-1 lead and the rout was on.
Blair finished the day 3-for-5 with two doubles while Wilson-Cowan supplied both a double and a triple on the afternoon. Evan Burnett made his 2020 debut in relief, dishing three strikeouts, a walk, two runs, and two hits over the final two innings.
With Saturday's win against Coe, Transylvania recorded its second win against a ranked opponent in the last two years. The Pioneers defeated No. 17 Webster in a season-opening series to commence the 2019 campaign.
The Pioneers return to action tomorrow against Rhodes College at Stauffer Field to conclude their opening weekend in Memphis. First pitch against the Lynx is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, 1:00 p.m. local time.
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