Hattiesburg, MS- The 14th ranked Crusader baseball team returned to Milton Wheeler Field today and whipped Martin Methodist 10-1 in the first game of SSAC series. With the win, Carey improves to 28-13, 14-5 SSAC keeping its hopes alive for a regular season championship.
The Crusaders struck first today by pushing two runs across the plate in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Cody Christian (SR/Satsuma, Ala.) got things started by drawing a one out walk and scored from first when Larson Barkurn (SR/Petal, Miss.) ripped a double down the right field line. Barkurn scored one hitter later when Garrett Shano (JR/Lafitte, La.) hit a sharp line drive up the middle for a single. Martin Methodist got one run back in the top of the third inning to cut the score to 2-1 but left two runners on in what was the last real threat in the game.
Carey blew the game open in the bottom of the third inning scoring 4 runs to push the lead to 6-1. Adrian Brown (SR/McComb, Miss.) led the inning off with a triple to deep center field. Tyler James (JR/Slidell, La.) followed with a hit by pitch and moved up to second on a stolen base. This set up a recipe that provided the Crusaders with plenty of success early in the season. Tyler Graves (SR/Petal, Miss.) stepped up to the plate and delivered a deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly scoring Brown and moving James to third base with one out. James Land (SR/Gulfport, Miss.) followed with a single to right field to score James to push the lead to 4-1. Tyler Odom (SR/Hattiesburg, Miss.) then perfectly executed a hit and run by bouncing a single through the hole where the second baseman was covering the bag to put runners at the corners. Odom moved up to second on a ball in the dirt and Barkurn delivered his second double of the day to score both runners and put Carey up 6-1. The Crusaders tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth on a couple of walks, wild pitches, and a Redhawk error to lead 8-1 after 4 innings.
The Crusaders scored single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh and narrowly missed 10 run ruling the Redhawks in the seventh inning when they stranded two runners on base. After scoring a run in the top of the second inning, the Redhawks were kept pretty much in check scattering a baserunner here and there. Conner McWilliams (SO/New Orleans, La.) picked up his fourth win of the season allowing one run while striking out three in six innings of work. Lake Robertson (SO/Hammond, La.) tossed the last two innings in relief allowing one hit and punching out three as well. Barkurn led the Crusaders at the plate with two doubles and a single while Graves and Land each had two singles. A. Brown pitched in with a triple and Wes Brown (JR/Denham Springs, La.) had a double.
The series will conclude tomorrow at Milton Wheeler Field with a doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at noon and the game stats are available on DakStats.