Nationally-ranked Falcons edge West Alabama in non-conference play

FROM STAFF REPORTS

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Senior Austin Dubberly drove in junior Todd Thompson with a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning and freshman Cody Hughes closed the door on the University of West Alabama in the bottom half of the frame to lift the nationally-ranked University of Montevallo baseball team to a 2-1 win over the Tigers in non-conference play April 2.

“It’s never easy coming to West Alabama and winning,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “Both teams left a lot of opportunities out there early in the game to separate until Dubberly came up with a huge two-out hit in the ninth. Our pitchers did a great job keeping us in the game and making big pitches when they were needed.”

The Falcons, who are ranked in both the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and College Baseball Lineup NCAA Division II national polls, improved to 11-4 in non-conference games following the victory. Montevallo, which hasn’t lost a non-conference game since a Feb. 9 loss at top-ranked Delta State University, is undefeated in mid-week games this season.

Montevallo is ranked No. 16 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll and No. 19 in the College Baseball Lineup poll.

Freshman Jeremy Hyde led the Falcons (24-12) offensively as he finished 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run.

Dubberly, who went 1-for-5 at the plate, drove in one run and finished with one stolen base. Senior Andrew Hillfinished 1-for-4 at the plate and scored one run. Junior Jackson Slaid went 1-for-4 at the plate, while fellow junior Will Fulmer finished 1-for-5 at the plate. Thompson scored one run in the victory.

Senior Devon Davis picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings in relief. Davis (2-0) gave up two hits and finished with one strikeout and one walk.

Hughes picked up the save after closing out the game with one strikeout in the ninth inning.

Junior starter Ed Brandsema allowed just one earned run on 11 hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six innings on the mound.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Hill led off the inning with a double to right-center field before advancing to third base on a fly out by Thomas Bradey and scoring on a RBI single to center field by Hyde.

West Alabama tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Brett Langham reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a RBI infield single by D.J. Turo.

Montevallo scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Thompson, who reached on a walk, advanced to third base on an error by the Tigers and came around to score on a RBI single to right field by Dubberly.

After Davis gave up a single to Turo to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, Hughes came into close out the game and struck out Adam Chamble before inducing Josh Podoris into a groundball for a game-ending double play.

The Falcons return to action Wednesday, April 3 with a non-conference game on the road at nationally-ranked UAH.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m.