Hattiesburg, MS- The Carey Baseball team split a doubleheader today at Milton Wheeler Field with visiting Martin Methodist. The Crusaders won game one 10-0 before dropping game two 3-2.
The Crusaders got on the board early in game one picking up a run in the bottom of the first inning without a hit. Adrian Brown (SR/McComb, Miss.) led off the game with a walk and moved up to third base when the Redhawk pitcher threw away a pickoff attempt. After a Tyler James (JR/Slidell, La.) groundout to third, Tyler Graves (SR/Petal, Miss.) knocked in A. Brown with a sacrifice fly to right field to put Carey up 1-0 after one inning. Carey plated two more runs in the third inning when Wes Brown (JR/Denham Springs, La.) and A. Brown drew back to back walks. James attempted to bunt the runners up but W. Brown was thrown out at third base. After another errant pick off attempt at second base, the Crusaders had runners at second and third with one out. A. Brown scored on a wild pitch and James moved up to third. Graves delivered the first Crusader hit of the game to score James and push the lead to 3-0 after three innings. Carey plated three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Cody Christian (SR/Satsuma, Ala.) and Larson Barkurn (SR/Petal, Miss.) knocked back to back singles to open the inning. Garrett Shano (JR/Lafitte, La.) bunted to move the runners up but the ball was thrown away at first allowing Christian to score and Barkurn and Shano to move up a base. W. Brown then singled to score Barkurn and put Carey up 5-0. A. Brown followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to knock in Barkurn to push the lead to 6-0.
The Crusaders added 4 more runs for good measure in the bottom of the fifth inning on singles by James Land (SR/Gulfport, Miss.), Christian, Barkurn, Shano, and W. Brown extending the Carey lead to 10-0 after 5 innings. The ten runs were more than enough for starter Cole Edgens (JR/Central, La.) as he picked apart the Redhawk lineup. Edgens scattered six hits throughout the game and punched out seven running his record to 6-0 on the season. Edgens also added to his team best fourth complete game on the year. Christian, Barkurn, and W. Brown each had two singles to lead the Crusaders at the plate.
Game two of the day was a completely different affair for the Crusaders. After having scored 20 runs in the first two games, Carey could not solve Redhawk starter, Logan Underhill. Underhill kept the Crusader offense off balance for most of the game only allowing 5 hits and two runs. The Redhawks took their first lead of the weekend in the top of the third inning on a bloop infield hit and a home run to go up 2-0. In the bottom of the third, Shano drew a leadoff walk to get the Crusaders started. However, rain began to fall at Milton Wheeler Field forcing about a 30 minute delay. When play resumed the Crusaders made two quick outs before Shano stole second base. James followed with a bloop infield single to put runners at the corners with two outs. James stole second base and Graves delivered a double to deep right center field to score two runs and tie the game. With a chance for the Crusaders to take the lead, Underhill was able to work out of the jam with one of his four strikeouts on the day to end the threat. That would be the last threat the Crusaders would make until the ninth inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Redhawks threatened to take the lead getting the first two runners of the inning on base with no outs. However, Lane Fazende (SR/Picayune, Miss.) entered the game in relief of starter Braden Smith (SO/Brookhaven, Miss.) and was able to get a pop up and a double play to get out of the inning. Neither team made any noise offensively until the Redhawks took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. With a runner on second and two outs the Redhawks got a pinch hit double to left center to give them a 3-2 lead. Carey got the leadoff man on base in the bottom of the ninth when Tyler Odom (SR/Hattiesburg, Miss.) drew a walk and moved to second on Christian's sacrifice bunt. However, a strikeout and a weak ground ball to first base ended the game giving Martin Methodist the win.
Fazende was tagged with the loss for Carey tossing five innings and allowing one run. He struck out two hitters and scattered five hits. Graves was the only Crusader hitter with multiple hits in the game with a double, a single, and two RBI's. Carey (29-14, 15-6 SSAC) will hit the road again on Tuesday as they travel to LSU-Alexandria for a non-conference doubleheader. The first pitch of the game is scheduled for 4:00 with game two following shortly after.