Falcons top USC-Aiken in final Peach Belt Conference series

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo baseball team found what it had been looking for all season in its final Peach Belt Conference game of the season.

The Falcons (20-25 overall, 8-16 in Peach Belt Conference) had great hitting, pitching and defense, which led to a 15-2 blow out of the University of South Carolina in Aiken on the road April 23. The Falcons pounded out 18 hits and 15 runs, the pitching allowed just seven hits and two runs and the defense did not commit any errors in the contest.

Montevallo was paced by junior Chris Ross, a Pelham graduate, who went 4-for-5 at the plate with three doubles and a stolen base. Ross drove in four runs and scored two runs in the victory.

Freshman Alec Stiver was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Freshman Pablo Martell and junior Josh Headley each chipped in a pair of RBIs. Five other Montevallo players had one RBI each.

Of the Falcons’ 18 hits only three were for extra bases.

Freshman Alex Guilford started for the Falcons on the mound and went 5 1/3 innings for the victory. Guilford’s record improved to 5-3 on the season after he allowed just six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Sophomore Michael Shreves, sophomore Devon Davis, junior Wes Rich and freshman Edward Brandsema combined to pitch the final 3 2/3 innings while allowing just one hit and one unearned run.

Both offenses tumbled out of the gates as they combined for four hits over the first two innings. Montevallo finally struck in the third inning as freshman Will Fulmer hit an RBI single through the left side to score Ross, who led off the inning with a double.

Senior Josh Dabbs hit a sacrifice fly a few batters later to score senior Scott Deason, a Spain Park graduate.

The Falcons’ offense exploded in the fifth inning with 10 runs off of eight hits and one USC-Aiken error.

The highlight of the inning was a three-run double by Ross, which put the Falcons ahead 8-0. Headley and Stiver each had two RBIs in the inning on two separate at bats. Martell, junior Heath Peterson, and junior Blaine Rosenberg, an Oak Mountain graduate, drove in one run each in the inning.

The two USC-Aiken runs came in the sixth inning and the seventh inning.

Montevallo tacked on another run in the eighth as Deason hit an RBI single to left-center field, which scored Martell. The Falcons’ final two runs came in the ninth inning as Martell hit an RBI single through the right side to score junior Duston Daugherty and Ross hit an RBI double to right field to score Stiver.

Montevallo split a doubleheader with USC-Aiken in the first two games of their final Peach Belt Conference series April 22.

The Pacers took game one 7-1, while the Falcons won the night cap 9-1.

Montevallo was led by junior Peterson, who went 5-for-9 at the plate during the twin bill. Peterson had four runs scored, three doubles, a triple and an RBI.

On the mound, senior Kyle Butler (5-4) starred in game two with a complete game victory. Butler had nine strikeouts, two walks and scattered eight hits in nine innings of work.

Rosenberg was 3-for-6 at the plate with a run scored, a triple and four RBIs. Fulmer was 4-for-10 with a run scored and an RBI. Davis went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Ross went 3-for-8 with two runs scored.

Sophomore Will Dismukes got the start in game one and went 6 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and four walks. Dismukes, who allowed five hits and seven runs, was credited with the loss and his record fell to 3-5 on the season.

Senior Joey Noro pitched the final 1 2/3 innings with a strikeout and two walks. Noro did not allow a hit.

Neither team scored in the opening three innings of game one. USC-Aiken blew the game open in the fourth inning, as the Pacers scored six runs off just three hits and three walks. The Pacers tacked on another run in the seventh inning to go up 7-0.

Montevallo finally broke through in the ninth inning as Peterson led off with a double to left center field. Stiver followed with a single to third base. Dabbs followed with a single to left field to make it bases loaded with no outs. Davis made it four-straight hits with a single to the shortstop, which scored Peterson. A double play and a strikeout ended the game.

In game two, the Falcons wasted no time getting the offense going. After two straight outs to open the game, Fulmer and Peterson had back-to-back singles. They both advanced on a passed ball to make it second and third with two outs. Rosenberg picked up a walk to load the bases. A hit by pitch gave Headley an RBI. Dabbs singled to second base, which scored Peterson, and Rosenberg scored on an error to give the Falcons an early 3-0 lead.

The Pacers answered with a single run in the bottom half.

The Falcons kept the action going in the second inning.

After a quick out, Ross reached first base on a walk. Deason followed with a single to right field, which moved Ross to third base. Fulmer picked up an RBI on a ground out to the second baseman. Peterson followed with an RBI double to left-center field. Rosenberg then hit an RBI triple to right field to give Montevallo a 6-1 lead.

The Falcons tacked on another run in the fourth inning as Rosenberg hit a sacrifice fly, which scored Peterson, who had tripled earlier in the inning.

The Falcons’ final two runs came in the eighth inning. Rosenberg delivered with a two-run single through the right side to score Deason and Ross.