ALLENDALE, S.C. — Second-ranked Walters State completed a three-game road sweep of USC Salkehatchie Sunday afternoon by taking both ends of a doubleheader to close out a dominant opening weekend.
The Senators put up 18 hits and 25 runs in the two games on Sunday in grabbing a 14-1 mercy rule victory in six innings in the opener before closing the road set with an 11-5 victory in the nightcap.
With the sweep, Walters State is 3-0 on the year and outscored the Indians 43-7 in the series. The losses dropped the home team to 0-3.
The Senators allowed just seven hits on Sunday and only 11 hits for the series, as Corey Stone and Zebby Matthews combined to toss a one-hitter in the opener. Stone (1-0) picked up the win by giving up an earned run on one hit, while Matthews worked two scoreless innings in relief and picked up a save.
At the plate in the opener, six of Walters State's 11 hits went for extra bases, as Xavier Arnette tripled and doubled in the win. Jerry Hammons, Bryce Hodge, Brayden Combs and Mason Streater each homered in the victory, with Hammons and Hodge both adding singles. Hammons drove in three runs, while Hodge and Streater both added a pair of RBIs and Arnette, Combs, Silas Butler, Parker Stinnett and Max Riemer each plated a run in the win.
The Senators started the game with a bang, as Arnette tripled on the first pitch before Hammons hammered a two-run homer on the very next pitch to make it 2-0. The Indians got a run back in the bottom off the first before WSCC answered back in the third with a leadoff round tripper by Streater to make it 3-1.
The lead remained the same until the Senators put up an 11-spot in the sixth inning to bring the game to an end by the mercy rule with a 14-1 final. Butler drove in the first run with a single, Riemer brought home a run with a grounder and Butler later scored on an error. Streater followed with an RBI grounder, while Arnette ripped and RBI double, Hammons plated a run with a base knock and Hodge smacked a two-run long ball followed by a solo shot from Combs. Stinnett added an RBI single, and Streater brought home a run with a bases loaded walk for the final tally of the game.
Jan Maldonado had the lone hit for the Indians in the loss. Ryan Liriano (0-1) took the defeat after surrendering three earned runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
In the nightcap, Hammons had a homer and double and drove in five runs, while JL Bland tripled and knocked in three runs. Seth Gardner and Drew Haynie both doubled, while Combs added an RBI in the win.
Kody Davidson (1-0) picked up the win after giving up an earned run on two hits in four innings of action. Blake Petty surrendered three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning, while Dillon Phillips allowed an unearned run in 1 1/3 inning before Gage Gillian worked a perfect seventh frame to close out the 11-5 victory.
The Senators scored in all but the sixth inning in the win, leading by as much as nine runs before settling for the six-run final margin. Hammons drove in a run with a grounder in the first, Streater stole home in the second, Bland tagged a three-run triple in the third and Hammons ripped an RBI double and scored on a base hit by Combs in the fourth to make it 7-0.
The Indians got a run in the fourth before WSCC added three runs in the fifth on a Hammons home run, making it 10-1. The home team scored three more runs in the bottom half of the fifth and added another tally in the sixth to cut the margin to 10-5, but that was as close as they could get. The Senators added a run in the seventh when Stinnett stole third and scored on a throwing error for the final run of the series.
Kyle Watkins and Maldonado had two hits apiece in the loss, with Watkins driving in three runs with a homer. Jacob Judy (0-1) took the loss after giving up two earned runs on on hit in two innings of work.
The Senators will be back on the diamond on Friday when they travel to Marianna, Florida, to take part in a four-game set with Florida Southwestern and two-time defending national champion Chipola. WSCC and Chipola met for the national championship last season. The first rematch is at 2 p.m. on Friday before the Senators take on Florida Southwestern in the second game of the day.