The Eagles lost game one of the doubleheader 8-3.
Reinhardt (19-8, 4-2) became the first team to take an AAC series on Tennessee Wesleyan’s home field since Bluefield did so in April 2011.
The key to the series was solid pitching. After Zach Cagle, a former Sequoyah High School standout, and Luke Cathcart combined to allow just one earned run in a 4-2 win Friday afternoon, Gazzola was perhaps even more impressive in the seven-inning shutout Saturday. The Coran, N.Y., native struck out seven batters and faced no more than five batters in an inning, en route to the win.
Gazzola brought his ERA down to 0.48 on the season, and he now struck out 42 in 37 2/3 innings of work.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when Reinhardt put a run on the board. With two out, Andy Pringle was hit by a pitch and Dusty Davis rallied from a 0-2 count to draw a walk.
The Eagles had a scoring opportunity, and Justin Schlie took advantage. A single to right plated Pringle from second and gave Reinhardt a 1-0 lead.
One inning later, the Eagles tacked on a pair. Sequoyah alum Tyler Adams singled, then pinch-runner Brian Hanberry stole second to give Tucker Adams, Tucker’s brother and another Sequoyah grad, a run-scoring opportunity. The senior delivered with a single to right to plate Hanberry.
Later in the inning, with Luke Daniel on third, Cherokee’s Eli Dickens lifted a fly ball to left deep enough to plate Daniel and make it 3-0.
In Game 1, the Eagles fell behind early as Tennessee Wesleyan (11-10-1, 4-2) scored two runs in the first and a run in the second.
The Eagles pulled closer when a fly ball by Davis was dropped, allowing Dickens to score in the third, but the Bulldogs scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to seemingly put the game away.