Falcons fall in slugfest with Northern Kentucky

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo baseball team (5-5) dropped a back-and-forth slugfest with Northern Kentucky University 12-11.

The Norse, who are ranked No. 15 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Division II poll, scored four runs over the final three innings to capture the three-game series Feb. 20 against the Falcons.

Montevallo (5-5) was led by junior Chris Ross, a Pelham graduate, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Austin Dubberly, also a Pelham graduate, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to finish the series with nine hits in 15 at bats.

Senior Josh Dabbs was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Junior Blaine Rosenberg, an Oak Mountain graduate, led the Falcons with three RBIs as he was 1-for-5 at the plate.

Senior Joey Noro started the game on the mound and pitched six innings while striking out two and walking a pair. Noro was relieved by freshman Alex Guilford, who pitched a 1/3 of an inning and took home the loss. The final Montevallo pitcher was senior Scottie Deason, a Spain Park graduate, who pitched 2 2/3 innings while striking out one and walking one.

Northern Kentucky got on the scoreboard first with a run in the second inning and then added three runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Falcons finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning, as they used three hits and a pair of Northern Kentucky errors to score five runs and take a 5-4 lead.

Montevallo added to its lead in the fifth inning, as a pair of hits and a Northern Kentucky error led to two more runs. The Norse retook the lead in the sixth inning, as they used a single, a double and a walk to load the bases. The next batter hit the first pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam, which gave the Norse an 8-7 lead.

Montevallo once again responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake a 9-8 lead, as three hits led to two runs. Northern Kentucky scored two runs in the seventh, one run in the eighth and another in the ninth to take a 12-9 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Falcons opened the ninth inning with a walk before Dubberly singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. After a strikeout junior Duston Daugherty hit a pinch-hit single up the middle to score junior Heath Peterson, who had reached on a walk. Montevallo then flew out to the second baseman down the right-field line to make it two outs with runners on first and second and the Falcons down two runs. Ross then hit an RBI single to left field to cut the lead to just one run, but that would be as close as the Falcons would get as a fly ball to right field ended the game.