Montevallo baseball drops two on opening day

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo baseball team opened its 2011 season Feb. 2 with a pair of 15-2 and 13-3 losses on the road at the University of West Florida.

West Florida opened the season ranked No. 21 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Division II poll.

West Florida senior Zach Taylor, a Coosa Valley Academy graduate, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and scored two runs in the Argos’ 15-2 win in the season opener. Taylor went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored in West Florida’s 13-3 win in the nightcap.

The Falcons (0-2) were led by junior Heath Peterson, who went 2-for-5 at the plate. Senior Scottie Deason, a Spain Park graduate, and junior Jeremy Boyte each added two hits to the effort. Deason had a double, while Boyte had a triple and an RBI.

Junior Chris Ross, a Pelham graduate, was one of five players to drive in a run for the Falcons. Junior Josh Headley, senior Josh Dabbs and freshman Alec Stiver also drove in a run in the doubleheader. Dabbs had a homerun, while Headley added a double. The only other extra base hits for the Falcons came from freshman Pablo Martell and freshman Will Fulmer, who each had doubles.

Sophomore Michael Shreves took home the loss in game one, as he pitched four innings and struck out two batters with one walk. Sophomore Will Dismukes took home the loss in game two after pitching one inning with one strikeout and four walks.

Both teams were scoreless in the first inning of game one before West Florida added three runs in the second and two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 9-0 lead.

The Falcons finally got in the scoreboard in the sixth inning, as Deason led off with a double to left field. He was pushed to third on a single by junior Duston Daugherty. Deason scored on the very next at bat, as Boyte hit into a fielder’s choice to drive him home. After Boyte was caught stealing and a strikeout, the inning ended with just one run for the Falcons.

The Argonauts responded with six more runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 15-1 lead. The Falcons’ final run came in the top of the seventh inning, as Dabbs hit a one-out solo homerun to right centerfield. The two runs were all the Falcons could muster as the Argos went on to win 15-2 in seven innings.

In game two, the Argonauts jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning and the Falcons were never able to recover. West Florida added a run in the third inning and another in the fifth to take an 11-0 lead into the sixth inning.

The Falcons began the sixth inning with a triple from Boyte to right centerfield. Headley then doubled down the right field line to score Boyte.

Sophomore Austin Dubberly, a Pelham graduate, continued the hit streak with a single through the left side to move Headley to third. After a wild pitch advanced Dubberly to second, Fulmer reached on a walk. Stiver was then hit by a pitch to drive home Headley. After a strikeout, Ross singled down the left field line to score Dubberly. The rally ended with a pair of strikeouts.

The Argos tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to clinch the 13-3 victory.

Freshman Alex Guilford saw three innings of action on the mound and compiled three strikeouts and two walks. Guilford came away from the doubleheader with a team-leading 3.00 earned run average. Junior Wes Rich, a Pelham graduate, led the team with four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of work. Rich also led the team with a 1.67 opponent’s batting average.