No. 22 Pirates Prevail In 17-10 Slugfest Against Concord
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 22-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University baseball squad was the last man standing after a blustery 17-10 slugfest with Concord University on Saturday afternoon at Pirate Field.
With temperatures in the 50s and wind blowing out to left field at a 20-25 mph clip, the Pirates (5-0) used a nine-run fourth inning and put together a pair of three-run frames late after Concord (0-5) had pulled to within one run.
Concord took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning with a four-run frame on Ryan Johnston's two-run home run and Jerrod Groves' bases-loaded two-out two-RBI single. Armstrong answered in the bottom half of the frame by sending 12 men to the plate in the nine-run inning, punctuated by a three-run home run by sophomore Clayton Miller - his first collegiate home run - to give the Pirates an 11-5 lead.
The Mountain Lions answered the challenge with a single run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by T.J. Brockway, then a grand slam home run from Bret Blevins with nobody out in the sixth brought Concord within one run, 11-10.
Senior righthander Eric Fowler entered the game in the seventh and held the Mountain Lions in check the rest of the way, hurling three innings of three-hit shutout ball, striking out one to earn his first save of the season.
The Pirates provided Fowler insurance with three-run innings in the seventh and eighth innings. Drew Walker cleared the bases with a three-run double in the seventh, then an RBI single from Mike Barnhill and a two-RBI single from Zach Taylor provided the final cushion.
Reliever Chandler Hall (1-0) was the beneficiary of the Pirates' nine-run fourth, picking up the win after 2 1/3 innings of eight-hit, five-run ball, walking one while striking out two.
Concord starter Devin Smith (0-2) took the loss for the Mountain Lions, giving up nine hits and nine runs - seven earned - in 3 1/3 innings of work, walking one while striking out two.
Miller finished the game 4-for-5 with four RBIs to lead the Pirates at the plate. Barnhill went 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two steals and a pair of RBIs while Taylor finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
Brockway, T.J. Humphrey and Randy Beard each had three-hit days to lead Concord at the plate.
Armstrong and Concord wrap up their three-game series with a 1:00 p.m. game on Sunday at Pirate Field.