Falcons clinch series with victory over Saint LeoPublished 2:55pm Monday, February 4, 2013
FROM STAFF REPORTS
SAINT LEO, Fla. – The University of Montevallo baseball team clinched a three-game series on the road against Saint Leo University following a 6-4 win over the Lions in the third game of the slate Feb. 3 on the opening weekend of the 2013 season.
The Falcons, who scored six runs on nine hits, took advantage of a two-run triple by junior Jackson Slaid and a RBI single by sophomore Vinny Rodriguez to put four runs on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning, which turned out to be plenty of run support for the Falcons’ bullpen to hold off the Lions.
“I’m really proud of how we played and battled all day and all weekend,” said Montevallo coach Chandler Rose. “It was a great weekend of college baseball and a great series win on the road. Once again, our pitching was outstanding and the biggest difference in the game was our defense. Offensively, we came through with some really clutch hits.”
Junior Will Fulmer led Montevallo (2-1) as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate while driving in one run and scoring a pair of runs.
Willoughby went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Senior Andrew Hill finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
Slaid, who drove in two runs and scored two runs, finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a double. Rodriguez went 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs. Chad Collum finished 1-for-2 at the plate.
Junior Todd Thompson and freshman Josh Floyd scored one run each in the victory.
Junior Josh Clemen earned the win in his first career start on the mound for the Falcons. Clemen allowed just one earned run on six hits with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
Senior Devon Davis gave up one walk in one hitless inning in relief. Freshman Aron McRee allowed three earned runs on two hits with two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Freshman Cody Hughes picked up his second save of the season after giving up just one hit with one strikeout and one walk in 1 1/3 innings.
Saint Leo took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Frank Rawdow doubled to left field and came around to score on a RBI single to center field by Michael Revell.
The Falcons put their first two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Fulmer reached on an infield single before Slaid made it safely to first base on a Saint Leo error, which also helped Fulmer advance to third base. Fulmer then scored on a RBI groundout by Rodriguez and Slaid crossed the plate on a RBI single through the left side of the infield by Willoughby.
Following three scoreless innings, the flood gates opened for Montevallo offensively in the top of the eighth inning as the Falcons pushed four runs across the plate to take a 6-1 lead.
Collum led off with a single up the middle before Floyd replaced him as a pinch runner. Floyd came around to score the first run in the inning on an infield RBI single by Fulmer. Slaid added a two-run triple to right-center field to score Fulmer and Thompson, who reached on a throwing error earlier in the inning.
Following a Saint Leo pitching change, Rodriguez drove in Slaid with a RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate the final run in the frame.
The Lions responded with three runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning to cut the Falcons’ lead to 6-4.
McRee, who came on in relief in the seventh inning, recorded the first two outs in the inning quickly before running into trouble. Revell doubled down the left-field line with two outs before McRee issued walked both Taed Moses and Ryan Brnovich. Hughes replaced McRee on the mound before pinch-hitter Blake Turner tripled to center field to drive in three runs for the Lions.
Hughes got out of the inning with a fly ball to left field by the Lions’ Chris Newcomb before retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth inning to pick up his second save in the three-game series.
Montevallo returns to action with a mid-week game on the road Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. against Stillman College, which claimed the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II South Region tournament title game a year ago.
Following the mid-week game, the Falcons will travel to Cleveland, Miss. for a three-game series Feb. 8-10 against Gulf South Conference foe Delta State University, which opened the season ranked No. 1 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) NCAA Division II poll.