Montevallo clinches season sweep of UAH on the diamond

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – University of Montevallo freshman Cody Hughes worked out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Falcons seal a 6-4 win on the road at UAH in a battle between nationally-ranked teams in non-conference action April 3.

Montevallo, ranked No. 16 by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and No. 19 by College Baseball Lineup in a pair of NCAA Division II national polls, completed a season sweep of UAH following the victory over the Chargers at Charger Park. UAH entered the contest ranked No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.

The Falcons (25-12) remained undefeated in mid-week games after clinching the season series against the Chargers.

“That was a great baseball game,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “We clutched up tonight and scored all six runs with two outs. We played phenomenal defense and the play Brandon Marshall made to end the game was sensational. I can’t say enough about Alex Guilford and how great he was and Hughes once again comes in and bails us out.”

Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez led Montevallo offensively as he finished 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and drove in one run.

Junior Will Fulmer, who drove in three runs and scored one run, went 2-for-5 at the plate. Sophomore Zack Willoughby also finished 2-for-5 at the plate.

Senior Austin Dubberly, who drove in two runs and scored one run, went 1-for-4 at the plate and finished with one stolen base. Freshman Michael Simmons finished 1-for-4 at the plate and scored one run, while seniorAndrew Hill went 1-for-5 at the plate with a stolen base and scored one run.

Junior Todd Thompson and freshman Brandon Marshall scored one run each in the victory.

Junior Alex Guilford picked up his second win of the season against UAH after allowing just one earned run on four hits with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in relief. Guilford, who was also the winning pitcher in the Falcons’ 5-3 win over UAH in the first meeting between the two teams this season Feb. 13, didn’t allow a walk as he improved to 6-2 on the mound.

Senior starter Michael Shreves allowed three earned runs on four hits with one strikeout and four walks. JuniorJosh Clemen, who relieved Guilford in the ninth inning, finished with one strikeout and two walks in 1/3 of an inning.

Hughes, who recorded a save in the Falcons’ 2-1 win on the road April 2 on the road at the University of West Alabama, picked up his second save in a span of two days after recording the final two outs in the game.

UAH took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Chandler Brock singled up the middle and Vincent Kortbawi reached on an infield single before both base runners scored on a two-run triple to right-center field by Conner McCain, who came around to score on a RBI double to right-center field by Jud Sherrill.

The Falcons answered with five runs in the top of the second inning to take a 5-3 lead.

Hill, who reached on a UAH error, and Simmons, who singled to right field, came around to score on a two-run single up the middle by Fulmer. Thompson, who reached on a walk, and Fulmer scored later in the inning on a two-run single to center field by Dubberly. Rodriguez lined a RBI double down the right-field line to drive in Dubberly, which gave Montevallo a two-run lead.

The Falcons added an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning to push their lead to 6-3. Marshall reached on a walk and advanced to second base sacrifice bunt by Thompson before scoring on a RBI single to left field by Fulmer.

The Chargers threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning, loading up the bases and plating one run, but Hughes came in to close the door on the opponent for the second day in a row.

Guilford allowed back-to-back singles to Brad Clay and Austin Sanders to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Clemen entered the game in relief and allowed both base runners to move up on a wild pitch before loading the bases after issuing a walk to Brock. Clemen walked McCain with the bases loaded and Clay scored to cut the deficit to 6-4.

Hughes came into the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and induced Sherrill into a groundball for a game-ending double play.

Montevallo will take a break from Peach Belt Conference play this weekend before returning to action Tuesday, April 9 with a non-conference game against Miles College at Kermit A. Johnson Field.

First pitch is set for 4 p.m.