Falcons capture first conference win

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo baseball team picked up its first Peach Belt Conference victory of the season on the road at USC-Aiken, 9-7, in the final game of a three-game series Feb. 18.

The Falcons (3-8 overall, 1-2 in Peach Belt Conference) were led by junior Vincente Andrews, who went 3-for-5 at the plate with four RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Will Fulmer was 2-for-3 with two RBI, a double, a run scored and a pair of walks. Senior Blaine Rosenberg, an Oak Mountain High School graduate, was the only other Falcons with multiple hits as he went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Senior Heath Peterson came off the bench to go 1-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI and a homerun.

Junior pitcher Kameron Heiser got the start on the mound and went 5.2 innings with three strikeouts, three walks and three earned runs given up. He was credited with the win and improved his record to 1-2 on the season.  Sophomore Edward Brandsema pitched 1.1 innings of relief with two strikeouts and just one hit given up. Senior Drew Boyer pitched the next 0.2 of an inning with a strikeout and one run given up off of a pair of hits. Junior Nathan Flanagan then pitched 0.2 of an inning with a strikeout, a pair of walks and three runs given up off of just one hit. Senior Wes Rich, a Pelham High School graduate, closed out the game pitching 0.2 of an inning with a strikeout and no hits given up. He was credited with a save, his first of the season.

The Falcons opened the scoring in the very first inning as Andrews hit an RBI single up the middle to score Waligora who reached on a lead-off hit by pitch.

Neither team scored in the second or the third. UM tacked on four more runs in the fourth all with two outs. Fulmer began the scoring with an RBI double to left field to score junior Mark Strong, who had led off the inning with a walk. Andrews then hit a two-RBI single to right field to score Fulmer and freshman Cody White, who had reached on an error by the third baseman. Junior Austin Dubberly, a Pelham High School graduate, then singled up the middle to move Andrews to second. Sophomore Alec Stiver then walked to load the bases and freshman Zack Willoughby drew a walk to score the final run of the inning.

Montevallo added another run in the fifth as Fulmer hit an RBI single to centerfield which scored Rosenberg who had led off the inning with a single.

The Pacers eventually got on the board in the sixth as they scored three runs off of three hits. Montevallo immediately answered with three runs in the seventh including a two-run homerun by Peterson and an RBI single from Andrews.

With Montevallo up 9-3 the Pacers scored a single run in the eighth to cut the lead to just five. USC-Aiken opened the ninth inning with a hit by pitch and back-to-back walks to load the bases with no outs. After a pop up to the shortstop, the Pacers hit a three-RBI double to right center to cut the lead to just two. Rich then entered the game and produced a fly ball out to right field and a strikeout looking to end the game.

The Falcons fell on the road to USC-Aiken in a doubleheader Feb. 17 in the series’ opening two games.

The two-game set marked the Peach Belt Conference opener for both teams. USC-Aiken won the first game 4-2 after scoring three runs over the final three innings. The Pacers then took down the Falcons in game two 12-3.

Freshman Cody White led the Falcons with three hits over the two games. He was 3-for-8 with an RBI. Six Falcons registered two hits each with senior Chris Ross, a Pelham High School graduate, and freshman Chad Collum, a Thompson High School graduate, each driving in a run. Ross had the only extra base hit of the day for the Falcons in the form of a double.

On the moun, junior Michael Shreves had another solid outing going 7.0 innings in game one with five strikeouts and no walks. He allowed just one earned run and six hits. He was credited with the loss in game one as he suffered a pair of unearned runs on top of his one earned run. Sophomore Alex Guilford suffered the loss in game two going 1.2 innings with a pair of walks and six earned runs given up.

Neither team got off to a hot start in the first game but it was the Pacers who struck first in the third as an error led to the first run of the game.  The Falcons responded in the fifth as Ross led off with a double to centerfield. White then singled to left centerfield to score Ross and tie the game at one.

UM took the lead in the sixth as Ross hit a sacrifice fly to left field which scored junior Vincent Andrews, who had reached on a lead-off single up the middle.

The Pacers retook control in the seventh after an error and a pair of hits led to two runs. USCA added an insurance run in the eighth off a pair of hits.

In game two it was all Pacers in the early going as they scored three runs in the first and four more in the second to take a 7-0 lead. Neither team scored in the third, fourth, fifth or sixth innings. USCA added three more runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to take a 12-0 lead into the ninth. The Falcons were able to plate three runs before a double play ended their momentum. They scored their first run of the ninth on four straight walks. The next batter reached on an error to score the second run and the third run scored on the double play. The very next batter struck out as the game ended, 12-3.

The Falcons will return to action Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 2:00 p.m. as they host the University of West Georgia for a single game.