Falcons clinch conference series against No. 6 USC Aiken
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MONTEVALLO – Senior Austin Dubberly homered twice and junior Josh Clemen pitched a complete-game gem to lift the Falcons to a 6-1 win over USC Aiken in the finale of a three-game Peach Belt Conference series March 30 at Kermit A. Johnson Field, which clinched the final home conference series of the season for the University of Montevallo baseball team.
The Falcons, who entered the series ranked No. 28 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll, have clinched five of their first seven conference series after taking two-of-three games against the Pacers, who are ranked No. 6 in the national poll.
“What a tremendous weekend for our guys,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “We played about as a complete game today as you can. It all started with Clemen on the mound. He was phenomenal to say the least. We played great defense and had some guys really step up this weekend for us. I’m really proud of the competitiveness and passion we played with all weekend.”
Dubberly led Montevallo (23-12 overall, 13-8 in Peach Belt Conference) at the plate as he finished 3-for-5 with a pair of homers. Dubberly drove in two runs and scored two runs in the victory.
Senior Andrew Hill finished 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs while finishing with a pair of stolen bases. Freshman Brandon Marshall, who drove in two runs and scored one run, went 1-for-4 at the plate with a homer.
Junior Will Fulmer finished 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Junior Jackson Slaid went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored one run while finishing with one stolen base. Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez also finished 1-for-4 at the plate.
Clemen, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, improved to 4-2 on the mound this season. Clemen, who didn’t walk a single batter, allowed just one unearned run on four hits with seven strikeouts in the win.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning in the series finale when Dubberly blasted the first of two homers during the game with a shot over the left-field wall.
Montevallo pushed its lead to 4-0 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Slaid led off with a single through the left side of the infield and stole second base before scoring on a RBI single down the right field line by Willoughby, who was thrown out at first base after being too far off the bag following the base hit.
Hill followed with a single to left field later in the inning before scoring on a two-run homer over the left-field wall by Marshall, which gave him his first dinger this season.
Dubberly added another solo blast, his fourth homerun of the season, over the left-field wall in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the Falcons’ lead to 5-0.
Montevallo scored its final run in the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hill reached on a walk to lead off the inning before advancing to second base on a single by Thompson and stealing third base. Hill came around to score on a RBI single down the left-field line by Fulmer.
USC Aiken plated a run in the top of the ninth inning when Grayson Smith led off with a single and scored on a passed ball following a strikeout by Josh Miller, but the Pacers didn’t threaten further damage as Clemen struck out the side after allowing back-to-back hits to start the inning.
The Falcons return to action Tuesday, April 2 in a non-conference game on the road at the University of West Alabama.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
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