MONTREAT, N.C. — Walters State's dominant pitching in the first half of the season continued Wednesday afternoon, as the second-ranked Senators rolled to a pair of victories over the Montreat College junior varsity squad on the road.
The Senators used six pitchers in Wednesday's doubleheader, and over the course of 14 innings, WSCC allowed just one earned run on four hits and struck out 23 batters. The Senators took the opener 4-0 before rolling to a 13-1 victory in the nightcap.
With the sweep, Walters State ran its record to 24-4 overall and 14-1 in the month of March, as the Senators have now won seven straight games and 21 of their last 22 contests. In 28 games this season, WSCC has allowed just 50 runs, of which just 36 are earned. The team's pitching staff has a combined 1.69 earned run average, which is third best in the nation out of 177 NJCAA Division I teams.
The losses dropped the Cavaliers to 5-6 on the year.
In the opener, Bubba Hubbard and Blake Petty combined to toss a seven-inning one-hit shutout, as Hubbard went 3 2/3 innings and allowed the hit while striking out six batters and walking three to improve to 3-0 on the year. Petty was perfect over the final 3 1/3 innings, fanning five of the 10 batters he faced to get his first collegiate save.
Michael Robinson led the Senators at the plate with a home run, his second of the year, and a double while driving in three runs in the contest. Jerry Hammons and Braydon Runion both added two hits, while Xavier Arnette had a hit in the win. Hammons had the other RBI in the victory.
Nick Texidor took the loss for Montreat after allowing three earned runs on five hits in five innings of work. Daniel Black allowed an earned run on two hits in his two relief innings.
Arnette singled, stole second and scored on an RBI double from Robinson in the third inning for the first run of the game, and Robinson clouted a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 3-0. The final run of the game came in the seventh inning when Arnette walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Hammons for the 4-0 final.
In the nightcap, the quartet of Andrew Lindsey, Dillon Phillips, Zach Joyce and Gage Gillian held the Cavaliers at bay, allowing only three hits while striking out 12 batters and giving up one earned run. Lindsey (1-0) took the win after giving up the run on two hits with five strikeouts and three walks in four innings. Phillips punched out all three batters he faced, while Joyce surrendered a single with two strikeouts and Gillian allowed a base runner on an error while fanning a pair as each tossed an inning.
Hammons clubbed a pair of homers in the win, bumping his season total to six round trippers, while Seth Gardner hammered his third home run of the campaign along with a double, as Hammons had four RBIs and Gardner plated three runs in the victory. Parker Stinnett, Alex Bibb and Jake Jennings all doubled and drove in a run, while Brayden Combs and Max Reimer both added RBIs in the win.
Cam Wallace was saddled with the defeat after giving up six runs (three earned) on three hits in two innings of work. Ethan MacDuffie drove in the lone run of the day for the Cavaliers with a two-out RBI single in the second inning.
WSCC opened the scoring with a six-run second inning, as Reimer knocked in the first run with an RBI single before Mason Streater scored on an error and Gardner poked an RBI double. Hammons made it a 6-0 lead with a three-run bomb, his fifth of the year.
After Montreat got its only run of the day in the bottom of the second, the Senators put a four-spot on the board in the fourth and three more runs up in the sixth to seal the deal. Stinnett scored Drew haynie with an RBI double, Gardner hammered a two-run homer in the fourth and Hammons added a solo shot for his second straight at-bat with a long ball to make it a 10-1 lead.
WSCC closed the scoring in the sixth inning when Jennings roped an RBI double and scored on a base hit from Combs, who later scored on an RBI two-bagger from Bibb to make the final score 13-1.
The Senators will be back in action against Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Volunteer State this weekend for a three-game series beginning on Friday with a single game at 2 p.m. The series will conclude Saturday with a noon doubleheader.