Nationally-ranked Falcons take down Miles College in non-conference action
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo baseball team defeated visiting Miles College 9-4 in a non-conference game April 9 at Kermit A. Johnson Field.
The Falcons, who are ranked in three separate NCAA Division II national polls, used a two-run homer by sophomore Vinny Rodriguez in the bottom of the fifth inning and a three-run blast by junior Jackson Slaid in the sixth inning to coast to the five-run victory over the Golden Tigers.
Rodriguez led the way for the Falcons, who are ranked No. 14 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. Rodriguez, who drove in two runs and scored two runs, finished 3-for-5 at the plate with a homer.
Junior Will Fulmer went 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles and scored three runs for Montevallo, which improved to 26-12 with the victory. Freshman Michael Simmons finished 3-for-5 at the plate and drove in one run.
Slaid, who finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a homer, drove in four runs and scored one run. Senior Austin Dubberly, who drove in one run and scored two runs, finished 1-for-2 at the plate.
Freshman Thomas Bradey went 1-for-2 at the plate and scored one run. Fellow freshman Brandon Marshallfinished 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Junior Todd Thompson also went 1-for-4 at the plate.
Junior Edward Brandsema picked up the win on the mound after giving up just one earned run on three hits in five innings of action. Brandsema (3-3) finished with four strikeouts and two walks.
Senior Devon Davis allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk in 1 1/3 innings in relief. Freshman Aron McRee, the Falcons’ third pitcher in the game, stranded an inherited base runner without allowing any further damage in 2/3 of an inning on the mound.
Freshman Jake Christensen allowed two earned runs on one hit and one walk while hitting two batters without recording an out. Fellow freshman Cody Hughes pitched the final two innings, allowing one walk and giving up one hit.
Montevallo took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Fulmer led off with a double down the left-field line before scoring later in the inning when Slaid was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Dubberly, who reached on a walk, came around to score on a RBI single up the middle by Simmons.
The Falcons pushed their lead to 3-0 with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Fulmer doubled down the left-field line before coming around to score on a sacrifice fly to right field by Dubberly.
Miles College cut the deficit to 3-1 with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Austin Freeman led off the inning with a double to left-center field before coming around to score on a RBI single through the left side of the infield by Chase Williams.
Montevallo took a 6-1 lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dubberly led off the inning with a single to right field before scoring on a two-run homer over the right-field wall by Rodriguez. The blast was Rodriguez’s team-leading sixth homer of the season.
The Falcons pushed their lead to 9-1 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fulmer led off the inning with a single to shortstop and Rodriguez singled through the right side of the infield later in the inning before both base runners scored when Slaid blasted a three-run shot for his second homer of the season.
The Golden Tigers cut the deficit to 9-2 with a run in the top of the seventh inning when Gary Mason singled to right-center field before coming around to score on a RBI single to left field by Joey Pollet.
Miles College trimmed the lead to 9-4 with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning, but the Golden Tigers couldn’t get any closer to tying the game. Freeman, who was hit by a pitch, scored on a bases-loaded walk by Christensen. Pinch-runner Tyler Williams scored when Hughes hit a batter with the bases loaded.
Montevallo returns to Peach Belt Conference action with a three-game series on the road April 13-14 at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C.
First pitch in the series opener is set for Saturday, April 13 at noon CST, followed by the second game in the series in a doubleheader.
First pitch in the final game of the series is set for Sunday, April 14 at 11 a.m. CST.
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