The University of Lynchburg baseball team won the NCAA Division III 2023 national championship!
The Hornets earned their spot atop the college baseball world and won their first national championship in program history with a 7-6 victory over Johns Hopkins University Thursday.
After losing the first game of the day 11-6, Jack Bachmore started the decisive final game for the Hornets. In only his second start of the season, the All-American lefty got into trouble in the first inning allowing four runs. However, the Hornets quickly answered back with two runs in the bottom half. With the bases loaded, Gavin Collins stroked a single to left field scoring Sean Pokorak and Avery Neaves.
Benton Jones stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second after Bachmore worked a clean top half. Jones slugged one over the wall in right field scoring Holden Fiedler and tying the game 4-4. It was Jones’ team-leading ninth dinger of the season.
After Hopkins retook the lead in the fifth inning, the Hornets answered back once more. With two walks and an HBP, Jackson Harding stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. The Hopkins outfield shifted Harding to go the other way during Harding’s at-bat. Just after the adjustment, the Keysville, Virginia native pulled a ball into the right-center gap clearing the bases and giving Lynchburg a 7-5 lead.
Mason McDowell came on to pitch in relief and got through 1.1 innings with one strikeout. Wesley Arrington relieved the freshman with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth.
The Blue Jays drove one run in on a single up the middle. Another Blue Jay tried to score on the play from second, but Carrson Atkins gunned the runner out at home.
Arrington, pitching on two-days rest, struck out Hopkins’ leadoff hitter Matthew Cooper with the bases loaded to get out of a massive jam and preserve the Lynchburg lead.
Arrington secured the final out with his second strikeout of the game.
Then, the Hornets celebrated. Champions.
In Lynchburg’s run at the championship in Iowa, the Hornets used three-straight complete games from Brandon Pond, Wesley
Arrington, and Zack Potts to set up their trophy celebration ahead of Thursday. The Hornets walked 26 times in the tournament adding to their DIII-best of 302 walks on the season.
The Hornets also saw two players garner All-America honors for their dominant performances in 2023. Jack Bachmore tallied first-team honors, and Zack Potts earned a third-team award from the ABCA.
Lynchburg finished the season with a 48-8 mark on the season. The impressive win total set an ODAC record, and the Hornets are the first ODAC team and DIII school from Virginia to win a national championship in baseball.
The Hornets are the fourth Lynchburg program to win a national championship in the school’s storied history. The women’s soccer team won Lynchburg’s first national championship in 2014. The equestrian program won back-to-back NCEA single-discipline titles in 2022 and 2023.
Lynchburg has been well-represented in the national championship during the last decade-plus. In 2010, the men’s soccer team played in the national-title game, and the men’s lacrosse team was the runner-up in 2015. The men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams have also celebrated 10 individual national champions.
Visit Lynchburg athletics’ home online, LynchburgSports.com, anytime for up-to-the-minute news on all Hornets sports and coverage from the Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network. Click here to sign up for email and text alerts from Lynchburg athletics, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.