Barons sweep nationally ranked Lambuth
The Brewton-Parker College baseball team finished play in its own invitational tournament Saturday in grand fashion by sweeping NAIA nationally ranked Lambuth University (Tenn.).
After winning Saturday's opener 12-4, the Barons rallied to tie the second game on Chris Brown's sixth-inning grand slam and Jonathan Davis' one-out, walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth gave Brewton-Parker a 7-6 win and the sweep.
The wins gave the Barons (5-2) a four-game winning streak after they dropped their tournament and home opener Wednesday night, 3-2 to Claflin University (S.C.). Brewton-Parker earned a split of that doubleheader with a 6-1 win and then defeated Edward Waters College (Fla.) 3-2 Thursday night.
"This is a huge step for us to beat a top-10 team," Barons coach Chad Parker said of the wins over Lambuth, ranked No. 8 in the NAIA preseason poll.
"The guys are learning how to become a team. We are trying to teach a team concept and everybody contributed. We didn't give up when last year we would've given up."
Brewton-Parker's tenacity was reflected in the second game after Lambuth had taken a 6-2 lead with two runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Junior Eric Prevatt led the game-tying rally with a double and sophomore Ashley Hooks and junior Dax Mezo drew walks to load the bases for Brown, a sophomore from Bowdon whose grand slam tied the game at 6-all.
Hooks (2-0) pitched the last two innings and got the victory when Davis, a sophomore from Savannah, ended the game with his solo home run in the eighth.
Senior Ricky Nelson went 2-for-4 in both games Saturday, hitting his second home run in three games with a solo shot in the first inning of Game 2. Brown finished with five runs batted in for a 2-for-2 effort.
"Especially in that last game, we got the opportunity to win and we came through," Parker said.
In the opener, Lambuth scored three runs in the second inning before Brewton-Parker scored four runs in the third inning to begin a string of 12 unanswered runs.
The Barons put the game away with seven runs in the fifth, with Nelson driving in two runs on a triple after he had a one-out double earlier in the inning. Sophomore Johnny King also had a two-RBI double in the inning.
Nelson scored twice in his first-game 2-for-4 effort and Hooks was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI single. Senior Denson Gleaton had two RBI and a run in his 1-for-4
Sophomore left-hander Trae Wiggins (1-1) threw six innings of three-hit ball, allowing three runs (one earned) with six strikeouts and three walks. Sophomore right-hander Zane Miller allowed one hit and one earned run in the seventh inning to close out the victory.
Parker said one of the biggest improvements the Barons made from Wednesday to Saturday came in taking advantage of base runners. After leaving 16 runners on base in the two games against Claflin, Brewton-Parker left just four in each game against Lambuth.
"The biggest thing is we did a good job of hitting with base runners in scoring position," Parker said. "We hit in the clutch."
The Barons return to action Thursday with at trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., to play Tennessee Temple University in a 7 p.m. contest. Brewton-Parker then opens its Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference schedule Friday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Shorter College in Rome, a series that continues with a single game Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Barons' next home date is Tuesday, Feb. 25, against Thomas University for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
"This weekend helped us get ready for conference play," Parker said. "We know how up we have to play to win and we need to get off to a good start."