MMI ruins Wallace baseball season opener

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Offense was never a problem for the Marion Military Institute baseball team Saturday.

The Tigers scored a combined 19 runs in a doubleheader sweep over Wallace Community College at K.A. Carroll Field. MMI won the first game 9-1 and the second 10-6.

Email newsletter signup

The Tigers (2-1) posted six runs on the board before Wallace found an answer.

“We had key at-bats with runners in scoring position,” MMI coach Brett Davis said. “There were some batters that got clutch two-out hits early in the game.”

A Wallace run finally crossed the plate in the bottom of the fourth when Brandon McClellan stroked a two-out RBI single.

The Patriots (0-2) had a chance to do more damage in the fifth with the bases loaded, but Joe Tart struck out David Adair on an outside two-seam fastball to end the inning.

“I felt I pitched pretty well for the most part,” said Tart, who earned his first win of the year. “I struggled a little bit with my curveball after I broke a nail in the bottom of the fourth. I think I did all right, but I expect a lot better from myself.”

MMI’s Nick Belvin hit a hanging breaking ball up the middle to drive in a run in the sixth. He later came home from third on a passed ball to put the Tigers up 8-1.

MMI didn’t have quite as easy a time in game two.

Wallace cut into a seven-run deficit in the seventh and final inning, but still lost 10-6.

Two runs had already crossed before McClellan’s RBI single made it a 10-5 game. He later scored when catcher Tyler Hollis threw a pickoff attempt at first base into right field.

Lefty reliever Stephen Grady hit Chris Censa before settling down and striking out the final two batters of the game.

Tigers starter Robert Brown pitched the first five innings and allowed one earned run to pick up the win. Grady gave up three runs and struck out three batters in two innings of relief.

Adair got tagged with the loss after giving up 10 runs on 11 hits over the first six innings. He hit four batters and struck out three.

Adam Vafides and Kyle Couto hit RBI singles for MMI in the second inning. Colby Vowell and Hoyt Hutchinson did the same in the fourth, and Vowell had an RBI double in the sixth.

Brad Self hit the first home run of the season for the Patriots when he took a pitch to right field that scraped off the top of the wall and plated two runs.