Falcons defeat Saint Leo in baseball season opener
FROM STAFF REPORTS
SAINT LEO, Fla. – The University of Montevallo baseball team defeated Saint Leo University 7-2 in its season opener Feb. 1 at Southard Stadium.
The Falcons raked the ball all over the field with 13 hits in their opening game of the season.
“The guys played with an unbelievable amount of energy and passion,” said Montevallo coach Chandler Rose. “Our pitchers threw the ball outstanding all night. The hitters had a tremendous approach all night against a very good senior pitcher.”
A three-run fifth inning sparked the Falcons (1-0) to their season-opening victory. Senior Austin Dubberly, a preseason All-Peach Belt Conference selection, provided a two-run double and freshman Jeremy Hyde added an RBI single in the frame.
Dubberly led Montevallo at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a double while driving in a game-high four runs and scoring one run in the win.
Junior Todd Thompson finished 3-for-5 at the plate with a double in his debut while driving in one run and scoring one run. Freshman Josh Floyd went 2-for-2 at the plate. Will Fulmer finished 1-for-3 at the plate and scored three runs while stealing one base.
Junior Jackson Slaid, a LSU transfer, finished 1-for-5 at the plate with a double and drove in one run. Sophomore Zack Willoughby went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored one run. Freshman Jeremy Hyde finished 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run, while senior Andrew Hill went 1-for-3 at the plate with a pair of stolen bases and scored one run.
Senior Michael Shreves picked up the win on the mound in the season opener after giving up two earned runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts in five innings of work as the Falcons’ opening-day starter.
Montevallo jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Fulmer reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI single by Dubberly.
Saint Leo tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning when Daniel Torres led off the inning with a single to center field and came around to score on a groundball by Dillon Vitale.
Thompson led off the top of the third inning with a double for the Falcons, who took a 4-1 lead in the inning. Fulmer was hit by a pitch before a fly ball by Slaid moved the pair to second base and third base, respectively. Willoughby was hit by a pitch before a double down the left-field line by Dubberly drove in Thompson and Fulmer.
Hyde lined a single through the left side of the infield to drive in Willoughby before Slaid was thrown out at the plate trying to give Shreves additional run support.
The Lions cut the Falcons’ lead to 4-2 in the bottom half of the inning when Chris Newcomb doubled down the left-field line and came around to score on a RBI single to third base by Michael Revell.
Montevallo pushed its lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Hill singled to second base and stole second base and third base before scoring on a RBI single to center field by Thompson.
The Falcons added an insurance run in both the top of the sixth inning and the top of the seventh inning.
Fulmer singled to center field and scored on a RBI double down the right-field line by Slaid in the sixth inning before Dubberly homered to left field to lead off the seventh inning.
Junior Alex Guilford pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for the Falcons, giving up just four hits and striking out four batters with one walk. Freshman Cody Hughes allowed one walk as he recorded the final two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Montevallo returns to action Saturday, Feb. 2 with the second game of a three-game series against Saint Leo. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CST.
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