Falcons take series opener against Young Harris, 8-3

FROM STAFF REPORTS

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – The University of Montevallo baseball team defeated Young Harris 8-3 in the opening game of a three-game Peach Belt Conference series March 3 behind a solid pitching performance by seniorMichael Shreves and a productive day at the plate.

Shreves allowed just two earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks in eight innings on the mound. Junior Alex Guilford relieved Shreves in the ninth inning and finished with one strikeout as he recorded the final three outs while stranding an inherited runner on base.

The Falcons plated eight runs on 13 hits in the victory.

“Our guys did a great job competing today for nine innings in some tough conditions,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “Other than a couple of leadoff walks and errrors, we played a very good team game. I’m proud of our offense today, as they came up with some clutch hits. I’ve really been challenging our hitters to step up lately and this was probably our best offensive approach and game of the year. We need to carry this over to tomorrow with two important games left in the series.

Senior Andrew Hill led the Falcons (11-6 overall, 5-2 in Peach Belt Conference) offensively as he finished 4-for-5 at the plate. Hill drove in one run and scored two runs in the victory.

Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and drove in one run. Senior Austin Dubberly, who drove in a team-high three runs and scored one run, also finished 3-for-4 at the plate.

Freshman Thomas Bradey, who drove in one run and scored one run, went 2-for-4 at the plate. Junior Jackson Slaid finished 1-for-5 at the plate and scored one run.

Junior Todd Thompson drove in one run and scored two runs, while junior Chase Bryant scored one run.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. Dubberly lined a single to left field before stealing second base. Dubberly came around to score on a RBI single up the middle by Rodriguez.

Young Harris tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Tom Valichka led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Spencer Thomas before scoring on a fielding error by the Falcons.

Montevallo plated four runs in the top of the sixth inning to jump out to a 5-1 lead.

Slaid reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a RBI single to left field by Bradey. Hill, who singled to right-center field, came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Thompson. Bradey and Thompson scored the final two runs in the inning on a two-run single to right-center field by Dubberly, which gave the Falcons a four-run cushion.

The Mountain Lions scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the Falcons’ lead to 5-3. Dom Wyshinski led off the inning with a walk before scoring on a RBI triple to left-center field by David Atwood. Atwood scored later in the inning on a RBI single to center field by Thomas.

The Falcons added a run in the top of the eighth inning to push their lead to 6-3. Thompson, who was hit by a pitch, stole second base before scoring on Dubberly’s RBI single to left-center field.

Montevallo added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to increase its lead to 8-3. Rodriguez led off with a double to center field. Bryant came in to pinch run for Rodriguez and scored on a RBI single to center field by Hill. Hill advanced to second base on a balk and moved to third base on a single to left field by Bradey before scoring on a throwing error by Young Harris.

The Falcons return to action Monday, March 4 in the final two games of the three-game series against Young Harris.

First pitch in the second game of the series is set for 11 a.m. CST, followed by the final game in the series.