Falcons win season-ending series against Tusculum

Published 7:25 pm Sunday, May 1, 2011


The University of Montevallo baseball team ended the 2011 season May 1 with a 10-1 home victory over Tusculum College.

The victory allowed the Falcons (22-26) to take the season-ending series against Tusculum after the two teams split a doubleheader April 30.

Prior to the game, the Falcons honored their four seniors as well as annual award winners.

Seniors Kyle Butler, Josh Dabbs, Joey Noro and Scott Deason, a Spain Park graduate, were honored prior to the game for their service to the Montevallo program.

Montevallo’s award winners were Austin Dubberly, a Pelham graduate who was given the Gold Glove award, Butler, who was named the Pitcher of the Year, and Heath Peterson and Chris Ross, a Pelham graduate, who were named Co-Most Valuable Players.

Montevallo had eight different players register hits in the win, six different players with at least one RBI and four different pitchers saw action.

Ross, Peterson and Deason led the way with two hits each as each finished 2-for-4 at the plate. Ross had a double and a homer, while Deason added a double. Ross drove in two runs and Peterson drove in one run.

Freshman Justin Burgess hit his first career home run in the seventh inning.

Butler started the game on the mound and went six innings with seven strikeouts and two walks while allowing just two hits. Butler did not allow a run as he improved his record to 6-4 on the year. Three Falcons pitched the final three innings while allowing just a single run and three hits.

The Falcons dominated the base paths, as they stole eight bags and were caught stealing just once. Peterson led the way with three stolen bases.

Montevallo opened the scoring in the first inning as Peterson hit an RBI single to right field, which scored Fulmer. The Falcons tacked on three more runs in the second inning. Dabbs scored the first run on an error. Sophomore Andrew Hill, a Pelham graduate, drove in a run with a groundout and Ross hit a solo homer to put the Falcons up 4-0.

In the fourth inning, Ross hit an RBI double down the right field line to give Montevallo a 5-0 lead. The Falcons expanded their lead in the fifth inning with four runs off of just two hits. Tusculum gave up three walks and a hit by pitch in the inning. Montevallo scored one run on a passed ball and another on a wild pitch. The other two runs came off an RBI single from Dabbs and a sacrifice fly from freshman Pablo Martell.

Montevallo’s final run came in the seventh inning, as Burgess blasted a sole homer to left field. The Pioneers scored their lone run in the eighth inning.

Deason provided the two-run, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning in game two of the doubleheader April 30 to give Montevallo an 11-10 win over Tusculum.

The Pioneers took the first game of the series 7-4.

Montevallo was led on the day by four players who each had three hits, including Hill, Peterson, Martell and freshman Will Fulmer.

Hill went 3-for-5 in game two with three runs scored and an RBI. Peterson was 3-for-8 with two runs scored. Martell was 3-for-9 with a run scored, while Fulmer was 3-for-10 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Deason led the way with three RBIs as he went 2-for-10 on the day with a run scored and a stolen base. Ross, junior Josh Headley and junior Blaine Rosenberg, an Oak Mountain graduate, provided two RBIs each.

Ross had his two RBIs in one big swing of the bat as he hit his first career homer as a Falcon in the bottom of the eighth inning of game two, which tied the contest at 8-8.

Junior Will Dismukes (3-6) took the loss in game one as he went one inning with four walks while giving up two hits and three runs.

Freshman Alex Guilford pitched seven innings in relief with two strikeouts and a walk while giving up just two earned runs.

Noro started game two and went five innings with three strikeouts and a walk while giving up five runs. When Noro left the game, the Falcons led 6-5 but Montevallo was unable to hold the lead so he was not credited with the win.

Three Falcons pitched the final four innings. Freshman Edward Brandsema pitched the final 2/3 of the ninth inning to earn the victory. Brandsema allowed just one hit without giving up a run as his record improved to 1-1 on the year.

Montevallo fell behind early in game one and couldn’t recover.

The Pioneers scored three runs in the first inning and tacked on another run in the fourth inning. After two more runs in the sixth inning, the Falcons finally put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning.

The Falcons cut the Pioneers’ lead to just two runs in the eighth inning with a pair of runs, but Tusculum scored an insurance run in the ninth inning and Montevallo was not able to put any more runs on the scoreboard.

In game two, it was much like the first game with Tusculum scoring three runs in the first inning and then adding two more runs in the third inning. Montevallo eventually took the lead in the fifth inning as the Falcons put up a six spot with the help of a couple of Tusculum errors.

The Pioneers came back with three runs in the seventh inning, which set up the two-run homer from Ross in the eighth inning. Tusculum scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 10-8 lead.

The bottom of the ninth inning started with back-to-back walks. After a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, which led to a strikeout, Hill hit an RBI single up the middle to score junior Duston Daugherty. Hill and Stiver moved up on the throw home to put runners on second and third base with just one out.

The Pioneers elected to intentionally walk Ross, which brought Deason to the plate with the bases loaded. Deason hit a grounder through the right side, which had just enough power to get past the infield. The left fielder charged the ball and made a throw to the plate, but Hill beat the throw to give the Falcons an 11-10 victory.

The series ends the Falcons’ first season under head coach Chandler Rose. Montevallo had a nine-win improvement from the 2010 season and both the team batting average and team earned run average improved.

Montevallo will return multiple all-conference worthy performers next season and will welcome some highly-touted recruits as the Falcons look to advance to their first Peach Belt Conference tournament in 2012.