No. 25 Pirates Split With Montevallo On Saturday, Take Series
MONTEVALLO, Ala. - The No. 25-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University baseball squad split a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader with host Montevallo on Saturday to take the league series from the Falcons, the Pirates' third straight league series win. Montevallo came from behind to win game one, 12-9, but the Pirates manhandled the Falcons in game two, 22-6.
With the split, the Pirates moved to 18-6 overall and 7-5 in the Peach Belt standings, while Montevallo moves to 15-13 overall and 9-6 in the league.
Armstrong built a 9-1 lead in game one beginning with a five-run first inning, keyed by a two-run single by Cody Powell and a two-run single by John Roberts. The Pirates added a single run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Roberts and another single run in the seventh on a solo home run by Powell.
Chase Maloney's bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly by Zach Taylor in the eighth made it the 9-1 lead, but then it all fell apart for the Pirates in the bottom of the eighth as Montevallo sent 14 men to the plate in the inning. Heath Peterson did the majority of the damage in the inning with a three-run home run and a grand slam home run, accounting for seven of the 11 runs. His grand slam erased a 9-8 Armstrong lead and gave the Falcons the 12-9 advantage.
Ethan Bader took the loss in relief for the Pirates in game one, giving up two hits and three runs in 2/3rds of an inning, while reliever Mason Morris (1-0) picked up the win in game one with one shuotut inning of relief. Wes Rich pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.
The Pirates started quickly in game two again, plating three runs in the first inning on a three-run home run by Powell. Montevallo answered with two runs in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Vincente Andrews and an RBI double by Chris Ross.
The Pirates put things out of reach with nine runs in the fourth inning with eight straight batters reaching in the inning. R.J. Dennard had the big blow with a three-run double. Dennard would later add a three-run home run in the fifth inning to cap Armstrong's scoring in the game.
Bader (6-2) started game two for the Pirates and notched the win, giving up 10 hits and six runs in 6 2/3 innings, walking two while striking out eight. Kameron Heiser (2-3) took the loss for the Falcons, giving up seven hits and nine runs - five earned - in 2 2/3 innings pitched, walking four.
The 22 runs scored by the Pirates were the most for Armstrong against a PBC opponent since April 15, 2007, when Armstrong beat Augusta State, 27-6.
Powell led the Pirates offensively in the doubleheader by going 6-for-9 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored, including two doubles and two home runs. Roberts went 5-for-9 with four RBIs while Dennard finished the day 4-for-10 with six RBIs.
Will Fulmer went 8-for-9 in the doubleheader to lead the Falcons offensively, while Peterson's 3-for-5 first game with eight RBIs highlighted the game one win.
Armstrong returns to action on Thursday, March 22nd, traveling to Augusta to take on the Jaguars in a non-conference contest at Lake Olmstead Stadium at 6:00 p.m.