Road-weary Barons earn split with Thomas

After an elongated weekend on the road left his pitching staff thin for Tuesday's non-conference doubleheader, Brewton-Parker College baseball coach Chad Parker was pleased with the Barons' split with Thomas University.

The Barons won the first game 7-4 before Thomas won the second game 8-7.

In the opener, Brewton-Parker scored two runs in the first inning on RBI singles by senior Ricky Nelson and sophomore Eric Prevatt. Nelson, who was 3-for-4 in the game, drove home another run in the fourth inning to give the Barons a 5-1 lead.

Thomas closed to within one at 5-4 with three fifth-inning runs, Nelson drove home his third run of the game in the sixth inning and then scored his second run on senior Denson Gleaton's single. Gleaton also went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Freshman southpaw Josh Dutto (3-0) earned the victory with four-plus innings on the mount, allowing three runs and five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore right-hander Ashley Hooks pitched the final 2-1/3 innings in perfect fashion to earn his fourth save.

In the nightcap, the Night Hawks earned a split of the twin bill by overcoming an early 2-1 deficit and holding off the Barons' two comeback attempts. A seventh-inning solo home run proved key in giving Thomas an 8-5 lead when Brewton-Parker scored twice in the bottom of the seventh on Gleaton's two-run home run, his third round-tripper of the season.

King gave Brewton-Parker a 2-1 lead with a two-run triple in the second inning before Thomas took the lead with two runs in the third and built a 6-2 advantage in the fourth. The Barons cut the margin to 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth, with junior Miles Zachary driving in two runs on a single and then scoring on junior Jason Halstead's grounder.

Freshman right-hander Brandon Whitener (0-1) took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) and eight hits with one strikeout and no walks in four-plus innings. In three innings of relief, sophomore right-hander Zane Miller allowed two solo home runs and four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Gleaton was 2-for-4 in the nightcap after his late homer and Zachary was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and his two-RBI single.

"I am pretty happy with the split, considering the long weekend we had," said Parker, whose team had to wait two days after a win Thursday night at Tennessee Temple University before getting its weather-postponed Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference series at Shorter College in Rome played Sunday and Monday. "The kids played hard."

The Barons (9-4 overall, 2-12 GACC) return to conference action with their first home conference series Friday and Saturday against North Georgia College and State University. The Barons and Saints play a single game at 6 p.m. Friday and a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

Brewton-Parker's spring break schedule includes a 4 p.m. doubleheader at home Monday against King College of Bristol, Tenn., and a 2 p.m. game Tuesday at Albany State University in a make-up date from Feb. 6.

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Brewton-Parker College freshman left-hander Josh Dutto fires home a pitch during his third victory in as many decisions, a 7-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader against Thomas University on Tuesday, Feb. 25. (Photo by Charles Conkin)