Falcons top North Alabama in comeback victory
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo baseball team overcame a five-run deficit to post a 10-5 victory over visiting University of North Alabama in a non-conference game Feb. 20 at Kermit A. Johnson Field.
The Falcons (6-5 overall, 2-1 in Peach Belt Conference) plated five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game before a solo homer by sophomore Zack Willoughby in the bottom of the fifth inning sparked Montevallo to the five-run victory.
“That’s a really nice win against a very good team,” said Montevallo coach Chandler Rose. “North Alabama has been to the regional the past two years and will be in the mix this year. I’m really proud of the resiliency and maturity our guys showed today and it started with Guilford. We had some big hits, but the difference offensively was our situational hitting. The guys really did a great job of executing and moving runners. Overall it was a great team win and we have to get ready for a big conference weekend against a very good UNC Pembroke team.”
Junior Alex Guilford improved to 2-0 on the mound after giving up five runs, including four earned runs, on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks in his second start of the season. Freshman Cody Hughes finished out the game and didn’t allow a baserunner in the ninth inning.
Willoughby, who drove in two runs and scored two runs, led the Falcons as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer. JuniorWill Fulmer, who drove in two runs and scored one run, finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and two stolen bases.
Senior Austin Dubberly, who drove in two runs and scored two runs, went 1-for-3 at the plate with a stolen base. Junior Jackson Slaidand freshman Jeremy Hyde, who each finished 1-for-3 at the plate, drove in one run and scored one run each.
Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored one run. Junior Todd Thompson, who finished 1-for-4 at the plate, scored one run and recorded a stolen base. Senior Andrew Hill drove in two runs, while Hughes scored one run.
North Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Josh Doyle singled through the left side, then advanced to two bases on a Montevallo error and scored on a fielder’s choice bunt by Drew Humphrey.
The Lions jumped out to a 5-0 advantage with four runs in the top of the third inning. Dylan Boston plated one run with an RBI single up the middle before Doyle drove in two runs with his double down the left-field line. Humphrey capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single up the middle.
The Falcons clawed their way back into the game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 5-5.
Willoughby led off the inning with a single before Rodriguez was hit by a pitch. Slaid drove in Willoughby with his RBI single to left-center field to put the Falcons on the scoreboard.
Hughes reached on a walk before Dubberly lined a two-run single to left center field to drive in Slaid and Rodriguez and cut the deficit to 5-3. Hyde drove in Hughes with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field before Hill plated Dubberly with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game.
Willoughby blasted a solo homer over the fence in right-center field in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the Falcons on top, 6-5.
Montevallo added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as insurance, which pushed its lead to 10-5.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Thompson reached on a walk before scoring on a RBI double to right-center field by Fulmer. Fulmer stole a base before scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Willoughby.
Dubberly led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk before moving to second base on a single through the left side by Hyde. Dubberly advanced to third base on a wild pitch before scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Hill. Hyde scored the Falcons’ final run on a RBI single through the right side by Fulmer.
Montevallo returns to action Feb. 23-24 with a three-game homestand against Peach Belt Conference foe UNC Pembroke, which enters the series ranked No. 16 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll.
First pitch in the series opener is set for Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.