Falcons clinch season sweep of North Alabama

FROM STAFF REPORTS

FLORENCE, Ala. – University of Montevallo  junior Jackson Slaid scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Falcons to a 7-6 win over the University of North Alabama in a non-conference game March 20.

The Falcons, who are ranked No. 27 nationally in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll and No. 6 in the most recent National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, plated seven runs on nine hits in the win.

Montevallo (20-9) clinched a season sweep of North Alabama following the one-run victory. The Falcons defeated the Lions 10-5 in the first meeting between the two teams this season Feb. 20 at Kermit A. Johnson Field.

“Ed Brandsema was outstanding today and we had a couple of guys come up with some big two-out RBIs,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “We didn’t play well at all but found a way to win. We have to play much better this weekend at Lander.”

Slaid led the Falcons offensively as he finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a homer and a double. Slaid drove in three runs and scored two runs in the victory.

Senior Andrew Hill, who drove in one run and scored one run, went 3-for-5 at the plate. Freshman Thomas Bradey finished 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs. Freshman Josh Floyd finished 1-for-4 at the plate.

Senior Austin Dubberly and freshman Jeremy Hyde scored one run each in the victory.

Junior Alex Guilford allowed two runs, including one earned run, on three hits with one strikeout in two innings in relief as he picked up the win and improved to 5-0 on the mound this season.

Junior Edward Brandsema made his first start in a non-conference game this season and gave up just one earned run on five hits with one walk in 5 1/3 innings of action.

Freshman Aron McRee gave up two earned runs on one hit with one walk in one inning of relief. Senior Devon Davis allowed one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout in 1/3 of an inning, while freshman Jake Christensen recorded a strikeout in 1/3 of an inning in relief.

North Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Matthew Tittle reached on a single before scoring on a RBI double by Bradley Noland.

The Falcons took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Rodriguez reached on a double before scoring on a two-run blast by Slaid.

Montevallo added four more runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend its lead to 6-1.

Dubberly, who reached on a walk, scored on a sacrifice fly by Slaid. Hyde, who was hit by a pitch, scored on a RBI single by Hill. Rodriguez, who reaced on a walk, scored on a RBI single by Bradey. Hill capped the scoring for the Falcons in the inning when he crossed the plate following an error by the Lions.

North Alabama plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 6-4.

Tittle, who reached on a walk, scored on a RBI double by Noland. Noland scored following a RBI single by Thomas Lundborg. Lundborg scored the Lions’ final run in the inning on a RBI single by Josh Carpenter.

The Lions tied the game at 6-6 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Dylan Boston led off the inning with a single before scoring on a RBI single by Tittle, who scored later in the inning following an error by the Falcons.

The Falcons clinched the one-run victory with a run in the top of the ninth inning. Slaid doubled before advancing to third base on a single by Hill and scoring on an error by the Lions.

Guilford gave up a lead-off single to Josh Doyle in the bottom of the ninth before retiring the next three batters to seal the victory.

Montevallo returns to action Saturday, March 23 in the opening game of a three-game Peach Belt Conference series against Lander University, which enters the series ranked No. 2 nationally in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll.

First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CST.