ALLENDALE, S.C. — Second-ranked Walters State cranked out 18 hits while six pitchers combined to toss a four-hitter in a dominating 18-1 victory over USC Salkehatchie Saturday evening in the season opening baseball game for both teams.
The Senators had seven players record at least two hits, as they took the lead in the first inning and used multiple-run innings in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth frames to hammer the Indians, who plated their single run in the fourth inning.
Jerry Hammons belted three hits and scored three times while driving in a run to lead the Walters State offense, while Drew Haynie, Bryce Hodge, JL Bland, Braydon Runion, Michael Robinson and Brayden Combs all added two hits in the win.
Hammons, Haynie, Bland and Silas Butler each belted a double in the contest, while Hodge and Combs both left the yard for the first two round trippers of the campaign. Haynie and Combs both drove in three runs, while Hodge, Runion and Robinson each plated a pair and Seth Gardner delivered an RBI as well in the victory.
Alex Haynes (1-0) notched the victory after allowing just one earned run on one hit while fanning six batters and walking two in 3 2/3 innings of work. Zach Joyce, Bubba Hubbard, Jack Collins, Drew Vaden and Andrew Lindsey combined to toss 5 1/3 scoreless innings of relief while striking out nine batters and walking two and giving up just two hits, with both of those coming in the ninth inning.
Ashton Hawkins, Alex Tapia, Juan Garcia and Pierceson Nance each had a hit in the loss, with Hawkins notching a two-bagger. The lone run for the Indians scored on a wild pitch. Braxton Copley (0-1) took the loss after giving up seven runs (five earned) on six hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He was the first of five arms to work on the day for USC Salkehatchie.
The Senators scored a run in the second inning when Hammons singled and scored on a double steal attempt, and WSCC made it a 3-0 lead in the third on a two-run homer by Hodge. The lead jumped to 7-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Robinson, a two-run single by Haynie and a throwing error on a double by Hammons.
The Indians got their only run in the bottom off the fourth, and the Senators responded with two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Robinson, who later scored on a wild pitch. In the sixth, WSCC added seven runs to make it a 16-1 lead, as Runion ripped a two-run single with the bases full, Alex Bibb scored on a wild pitch, Combs added a two-run single, Robinson scored on a wild pitch and Gardner ripped a run scoring base hit in the frame.
Combs hammered a leadoff homer in the eighth before Haynie drove in Butler with an RBI double for the final run of the game.
The two teams will be back at it Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader set for a noon first pitch.