Hattiesburg, MS- The 12th ranked Crusader Baseball team returned to Milton Wheeler Field today and took a pair of games from LSU-Alexandria in convincing fashion. The Crusaders outscored LSUA 14-5 in game one and 16-6 in game two to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The Generals took an early 1-0 lead in the first game before Carey exploded for four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Cody Christian (SR/Satsuma, Ala.) led off the inning with a bunt that was thrown away by the pitcher allowing him to move to second base. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Christian scored when Wes Brown (JR/Denham Springs, La.) hit a single to right field to tie the game. After a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch W. Brown was on third base with two outs. Tyler Graves (SR/Petal, Miss.) delivered an infield single that scored Brown to put the Crusaders up 2-1. Garrett Shano (JR/Lafitte, La.) ran for Graves and stole second base before being knocked in by a James Land (SR/Gulfport, Miss.) single. Tyler Odom (SR/Hattiesburg, Miss.) followed with a triple in the right center gap to put Carey up 4-1. The Generals cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the fourth but Carey struck back in the bottom half. Christian got things going again for the Crusaders, this time with a single to right center. W. Brown followed up with a hit by pitch to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Adrian Brown (SR/McComb, Miss.) moved the runners up with a ground ball to third base. Tyler James (JR/Slidell, La.) reached on a walk and Graves hit a sacrifice fly to make the lead 5-3 after 4 innings.
The fifth inning got ugly for the Generals as the Crusaders put the game away by scoring 9 runs in the inning. Larson Barkurn (SR/Petal, Miss.) hit a fly ball that was misplayed by the right fielder allowing Barkurn to reach second base. Barkurn moved up to third on a wild pitch and was driven in by Christian Smith (JR/Carriere, Miss.)'s double to right center field. Christian and W. Brown then reached base on a walk and hit by pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Over the course of the next three batters C. Smith and Christian both scored on wild pitches. W. Brown and Shano, who was running for Graves after a hit by pitch, both scored on a James Land double to deep left center field. Land was plated when Odom delivered a single to right field. Barkurn, C. Smith, and Christian then all three picked up singles to bring home two more runs to make the score 14-3 after 5 innings of play. The Generals were able to pick up two more runs in the top of the seventh to round out the scoring.
Lake Robertson (SO/Hammond, La.) picked up the win on the mound for the Crusaders by tossing four innings and striking out 5. Wilmer Nunez (JR/Puerto La Cruz, Anzoategui) tossed the final three innings striking out 6. Land, Odom, C. Smith, and Christian each had two hits for Carey in the game.
The Crusaders picked up in game two right where they left off in game one by scoring seven runs in the first inning and putting the game away early. A. Brown and Graves were both hit by pitches and James was walked in between to load the bases with nobody out. A. Brown scored on a wild pitch before Land singled to score James and Shano to make it 3-0. Odom and Barkurn followed with singles to load the bases again with no outs. Christian drew a one out walk to score Land to make the game 4-0. Odom and Barkurn both scored on a W. Brown fielder's choice that resulted in a wild throw to move W. Brown to second base. A. Brown then ripped a triple over the head of the right fielder to score W. Brown and push the Carey lead to 7-0 after one inning of play. The Generals were able to squeeze out runs in the top of the third and fourth innings to cut into the Crusader lead but Carey exploded for four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game away. Tyler James drew a one out walk and stole second before being caught trying to steal third. Graves drew a walk to put a runner at first with two outs. Land followed with a ground ball to third base that was thrown away putting runners at second and third. Odom singled to center to score two runs and make the score 9-2. Barkurn was hit by a pitch and C. Smith followed with a single to score Odom. Christian immediately followed with a single to score Barkurn to push the lead to 11-2 after four innings.
Things didn't get any better for the Generals as the Carey offense continued to light up the scoreboard in the fifth inning by plating 5 more runs. James started things off with a one out double to left field. Graves then hit a deep fly to left center field off the top of the wall for a double to score James. Land followed with a single to right field to score Gabriel Rosado (FR/San Juan, Puerto Rico) who was running for Graves. After an out and a walk, C. Smith singled to score another Crusader run. General pitching then issued three consecutive walks that resulted in two more Crusader runs to push the lead to 16-2. The Generals added two runs in the 6th and 7th innings to finish the scoring for the game at 16-6.
Conner McWilliams (SO/New Orleans, La.) picked up the win on the mound tossing 5 innings, allowing 2 runs, while striking out 3 before giving way to Sam Richard (SR/Jackson, Miss.). Land, Odom, and C. Smith each picked up two hits to lead the Crusaders at the plate.
With the two wins today, the Crusaders are now 19-5, 5-1 SSAC on the season. Carey hits the road again this weekend for a three game SSAC series with Brewton Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia. The first pitch for Friday's game is scheduled for 6:00 EST and a doubleheader will be played on Saturday beginning at 1:00 EST. The games can be viewed on DakStats.