LYNCHBURG, Va. – University of Lynchburg baseball saw its season come to a close Sunday afternoon in the NCAA LYnchburg Regional.
The 11th-ranked Hornets lost 6-3 against Salve Regina. Grayson Thurman pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief for the second time in the regional, and Avery Neaves went 3-4 with two RBI and a home run.
Wesley Arrington, a CoSIDA Academic All-District winner, made the start on the mound. He struck out one batter in 3 2/3 innings of work. Salve Regina jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the first two innings before Thurman made his way into the game in the fourth.
In the top of the second, Riley O’Donnovan led off the inning with a double. Holden Fiedler brought him home two batters later on a fielder’s choice.
Salve Regina padded its lead with three more runs in innings five and six. During Lynchburg’s turn at bat in the sixth, Neaves crushed a towering solo home run over the scoreboard in left center. In his second season with Lynchburg, Neaves tallied 16 home runs which is the second-most in a single season in program history. He is also one home run away from tying the program’s career home run record. The junior collected another RBI on the first pitch he saw in the eighth driving in Garrett Jackson.
Jackson is the program’s leader in career at-bats with 618. He is also second all-time with 155 runs. His career batting average is at .307 after four seasons with the team.
Thurman shut out the Seahawks in the seventh and eighth. He struck out the side in the eighth and ended the day with six strikeouts. Through five seasons with Lynchburg, Thurman amassed 245 Ks in 158 1/3 innings with 21 saves. He is third on the program’s career-strikeout list and set a single-season record with 107 strikeouts in 2022.
Collins singled to lead off the ninth, but the Seahawks retired the side to advance to the regional championship against Birmingham-Southern.
Lynchburg won 36 games and made it to the NCAA tournament both for the second-straight season. The team set a program record for walks with 294 and is tied with Penn. State-Abington for the most in Division III baseball.