Falcons split doubleheader against No. 2 Lander University

FROM STAFF REPORTS

GREENWOOD, S.C. – Freshman Jeremy Hyde drove in senior Andrew Hill in the top of the eighth inning to lift the Falcons to a 4-3 win over Lander University, giving the University of Montevallo baseball team a split in the first two games of a three-game Peach Belt Conference series March 23.

The Falcons, who are ranked No. 27 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Division II baseball poll, dropped the opening game of the series 11-4 to the Bearcats, who are ranked No. 2 in the national poll.

“Today was a lot of fun,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “Two really good baseball teams battling all day. Josh Clemen was just phenomenal in game two and pitched his heart out. Really gutsy performance and we came up with some clutch hits late. Tomorrow should be another great game and a huge rubber match.”

Junior Josh Clemen (3-3) picked up the win on the mound after giving up just three earned runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and five walks in his second complete-game effort of the season.

Hill led Montevallo (21-10 overall, 11-6 in Peach Belt Conference) offensively in the nightcap as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate and scored one run.

Sophomore Zack Willoughby went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Junior Will Fulmer finished 2-for-5 at the plate.

Junior Jackson Slaid, who drove in one run and scored one run, finished 1-for-5 at the plate with a double. Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez and junior Todd Thompson, who each finished 1-for-2 at the plate, scored one run each. Hyde went 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Senior Austin Dubberly scored one run.

Montevallo took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning in the nightcap. Thompson reached on a walk before advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Thompson moved to third base on an infield single by Fulmer and scored on RBI sacrifice bunt by Dubberly.

Lander tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Chris Hyatt, who reached on a walk, scored on a RBI single by Graham Ramos.

The Bearcats broke the tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, which gave Lander a 3-1 advantage.

Hyatt led off the inning with a walk before advancing to third base on a double by Ian Harvey and scoring on a sacrifice fly RBI by Erik Lunde. Harvey, who advanced to third base on the sacrifice fly, scored later in the inning on a wild pitch by Clemen.

The Falcons took a 4-3 lead with three runs in the top of the eighth inning.

Rodriguez led off the inning with a walk before scoring on a RBI double to left field by Slaid, who came around to score later in the inning on a RBI single to right field by Willoughby. Hill, who reached on a fielder’s choice bunt, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and came around to score on a RBI single to left field by Hyde.

Willoughby led the Falcons offensively in the opening game of the series as he went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and scored one run.

Slaid finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a double and drove in one run. Hyde, who drove in one run and scored one run, went 1-for-1 at the plate.

Fulmer, who scored one run, and Dubberly and Hill each finished 1-for-4 at the plate. Thompson scored one run.

Senior starter Michael Shreves (5-3) took the loss on the mound after giving up seven runs, including six earned runs, on eight hits with one strikeout and one walk in five innings of action.

Freshman Taylor Burr gave up two earned runs without recording an out in relief. Fellow freshman Brandon Marshall allowed two earned runs on three hits in three innings in relief.

Montevallo took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in the opening game of the series. Fulmer led off with an infield single before moving to second base on a groundout by Rodriguez and coming around to score on a RBI double to right field by Slaid.

The Bearcats tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Weston Lawing reached on a Montevallo error and stole second base before scoring on a RBI double to left field by Ian Harvey.

Lander plated a run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Patrick Grady reached on a walk and advanced to third base on a single by Connor Lewis before scoring on a RBI single to left field by Lawing.

The Bearcats pushed five runs across the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning to push their lead to 7-1.

Lunde led off the inning with a single before Grady was hit by a pitch. Lunde scored on a RBI single by Lewis, who scored later in the inning along with Grady on a two-run single to right field by Colby Painter.  Lawing, who reached on a fielder’s choice bunt, also scored in the inning on a Montevallo error. Painter came around to score on a RBI single by Chris Hyatt.

The Falcons plated a run in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 7-2. Willoughby doubled to left field before scoring on a RBI single to center field by Hyde.

Lander scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to push its lead to 11-2.

Lunde was hit by a pitch before scoring on a RBI single by Lewis. Grady was also hit by a pitch before scoring on a balk by Marshall. Lewis came around to score on a two-run homer by Jeff May.

Montevallo added the final two runs in the top of the ninth inning. Hyde, who reached on a walk, and Thompson, who was hit by a pitch, each scored on a Lander error.

The Falcons return to action against the Bearcats in the final game of the conference series March 24.

First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CST.