SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State University head coach Joe Roberts became NCAA Division II's all-time winningest head baseball coach with the Pirates' Peach Belt Conference doubleheader sweep of No. 10-ranked UNC Pembroke on Sunday at Sammy Cox Field in Pembroke, N.C. The Pirates won game one, 13-8, and took game two, 6-4 to sweep the weekend PBC series from the Braves.
The first win of the doubleheader was the NCAA-recognized 1,309th career coaching victory for Roberts, moving him ahead of Valdosta State's Tommy Thomas, who accumulated a 1,308-825 record in 40 seasons at Valdosta State. With the second win, Roberts is now 1,310-635 at Armstrong in his 34 seasons as the head coach of Pirate baseball. Yesterday, in the first game of the series with the Braves, Armstrong won its 1,500th game in program history.
Armstrong will honor coach Roberts for his milestone achievement and the program's milestone win in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, April 28, prior to the Pirates' 1:00 p.m. Peach Belt Conference baseball game against Lander. All former Armstrong players are invited back to Savannah and Pirate Field to join the university in honoring both coach Roberts and the entire baseball program on its outstanding accomplishments.
The record-breaking win in game one of the doubleheader saw the Pirates score in each of the first six innings, including a three-run first inning and a big five-run third inning, keyed by RBI singles by R.J. Dennard, Will Thomas and Casey Maloney.
Ethan Bader (6-0) remained unbeaten on the season, picking up the win by going 5 2/3 innings, giving 12 hits and seven runs, walking five while striking out two.
Caleb Woods hurled 3 1/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball, striking out one for the save.
Jordan DeLoatch (4-2) took the loss in game one for the Braves, giving up eight hits and nine runs - five earned - in 2 1/3 innings of work, walking one while striking out one.
Max Gagnon led the Braves offensively in game one by going 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs.
In game two, Armstrong senior Chris Base kept the Braves scoreless into the eighth inning as the Pirates built a 6-0 lead. A squeeze bunt RBI by Dalton Johnson scored the first run for the Pirates in the third inning, then Chase Butler launched a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Chris Zittrouer then blasted a three-run home run in the eighth inning.
UNC Pembroke rallied in the eighth to close the gap to two. After getting the first out of the inning, Base gave up a three-run home run to Jordan Edgerton to make the score 6-3. A sacrifice fly later in the inning cut the lead to 6-4, but reliever Caleb Woods struck out Drew Cole to end the eighth, then a hitless ninth closed out the Braves.
Base (4-3) finished the game with 7 1/3 innings of eight-hit ball, giving up four runs - two earned - while walking two and striking out five. Woods pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief, striking out two for his third save of the season and second save of the day.
Dale Innes (6-2) took the loss for UNC Pembroke, giving up five hits and three runs - one earned - in five innings of work, walking nine while striking out three.
Butler went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in game two for the Pirates, while Zittrouer went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Clayton Miller went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Armstrong returns to action on Wednesday, April 24, hosting Voorhees in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Pirate Field.