Hornets split doubleheader

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Hill College overcame a slow start and early 1-0 deficit to notch a 13-1 win over Concordia in the first half of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

The Hornets (3-23) got on the board in the bottom of the third inning on a Reiko Stephens single that scored J.J. Locke, who led off the inning with a double.

It was Concordia’s last highlight of the day, save for an A.J. Ward grab that robbed Javier Cherta of a two-run home run in the top of the fifth.

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“We always compete,” said Concordia coach Steven Washington. “We’ve just got to figure out a way to make that happen all seven innings.”

The Badgers (15-19) tied the game in top of the fourth on a Justin Harrison single that scored Kiefer Gingles, who earlier reached on a triple. Though it was Spring Hill’s only run of the inning, the team picked things up in the fifth.

“We started off sluggish,” said Spring Hill coach Frank Sims. “Once we got a big hit, we started hitting better.”

After Cherta led off with a double and Ryan Cummings notched a single, Craig Lehnan drew a walk to load the bases. Cherta made it 2-1 after Blake Nelson was hit by a pitch, and Bill Saliski scorched a double down the right field line to push Cummings and Lehan across. That made the score 4-1.

“[Concordia pitcher Britain Murphy] just got tired,” said Sims. “It looked like he was keeping the ball up.”

The Badger onslaught didn’t end there. A Gingles walked loaded the bases again, and Ryan Hall singled to score Nelson and Saliski. Four runs later, the score was 10-1 and Concordia was a run from an early exit.

The Hornets got two on in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn’t take advantage.

The Badgers (15-8) scored the mercy run and two insurance runs — all with two outs — to put the game away.

Hall reached on a Temar Hudson error and scored on a fielder’s choice. Jared Bonvillain and Andy McCall scored after Stephens and Brian Johnson collided on a pop fly.

The Hornets quickly put the lopsided loss behind them to take game two 3-2 in eight innings.