Greensboro, N.C. (3-22-07) -- Sophomore Joe John belted two homers, including a sixth-inning grand slam, to help Guilford College to a 17-7 baseball win over visiting Lawrence University Thursday afternoon at McBane Field. The win snapped the Quakers' (6-15) 12-game losing streak, which dated to Feb. 24. The Vikings fall to 0-6 with their sixth setback in four days of their trip south from Wisconsin.
The Vikings went ahead, 2-1, on an RBI single by Wes Otte in the top of the fourth inning. Guilford rallied in the bottom of the inning thanks to a disputed grand slam by John, followed by rookie Drew Ward's solo homer to left center. With one out in the fourth and the bases loaded, Guilford's Michael Costa hit a come-backer to the mound, which reliever Mike Butzen fielded and threw home for the forceout. Catcher Tim Salm threw to first where the base umpire ruled Costa out. However, after consulting with the home plate umpire, it was determined that Salm's throw pulled first baseman off the bag. Lawrence, which had left the field after the initial ruling, had to return to the field. John, the next batter, skied his fourth homer over the left-center field fence, which gave the Quakers a 5-2 lead. Ward followed with his first college blast in the next at bat.
Lawrence battled back with four unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning, which tied the game at six. Brad Hauser got the Vikings going with a two-out double off of reliever Reid MacLean (2-1). He scored on pinch-hitter Tommy Schmidt's deep fly ball to center, which went in and out of center-fielder John's glove for a three-base error. After Evan Neuens reached on a Costa fielding error at third base, Salm slammed a line-drive homer to left to make it a 6-6 game.
Guilford regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a seven-run explosion. An Ian Spector triple broke the tie and gave Guilford the lead for good. John Goodwin hit a two-run double in the inning and sophomore Byron Myers smacked his first homer of the year, a two-run shot.
Paul Keenan, the fourth of six Guilford pitchers, threw two shutout innings and Chad Boone came out of right field to throw a scoreless eighth. The Vikings closed their scoring off of John in the ninth on an RBI ground out by pinch-hitter Chris Kopitzke.
John went 3-5 with a career-high six RBI and three runs scored for Guilford. Spector and Alex Starbuck also had three hits in the win. Ward went 2-5 with two RBI and rookie Sean Corbett recorded his first college hit with a two-run homer in the seventh inning.
Salm's 3-4 performance with two RBI led the Vikings, who played at Methodist Thursday night. Hauser and Hawk Haiduke had two hits apiece.
Guilford returns to action Saturday (3/24) at Emory & Henry in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference double-header that starts at noon.