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Barons rout Crusaders in opener, split doubleheader against Union
|Barons pitcher JF Neveu (12) attempts to pick off the Union runner at first base, covered by Baron Josh Sasser. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)
By Taylor Hereford
Director of Marketing
MOUNT VERNON – If Hayne Brant had any anxiety leading up to his first game as head coach of the Brewton-Parker College baseball team, it was likely long gone after the first inning.
The Barons handily defeated the Tennessee Temple Crusaders, 12-0.
“This was a great game for us,” Brant said. “After scoring nine runs that first inning, we just put it on cruise control. That made my job a lot easier.”
Sophomore Matt Stanley hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first, and the Barons (1-0, 0-0 SSAC) exploded for nine runs in that inning. Senior starter JF Neveu (1-0) picked up the win, pitching three shutout innings and giving up no hits. He also struck out two and walked one.
Senior Shaun O’Toole followed Neveu, pitching three innings – giving up three hits, three walks, and striking out one. Junior Tremayne Holland finished the game, taking the mound in the seventh. He only allowed one hit and walked one batter.
At the plate – in addition to Stanley’s performance – BPC was led by senior shortstop Phillip Lee (2-for-4), junior left fielder Phil Merrill (2-for-3, 1 RBI), designated hitter Ian Wright (2-for-4, 1 RBI), third baseman Josh Evans (2-for-4, 2 RBI), and first baseman Josh Sasser (1-for-3, 1 RBI).
Baron Jopoey Fears, freshman, swings at a pitch by Union University Feb. 3. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)
As a team, the Barons hit .424 for the game (14-for-33) and had only one strikeout.
On Saturday, the Barons hosted a doubleheader against Union University. Stanley remained a formidable presence at the plate in game one, going 3-for-3 and driving in the game’s only run in the bottom of the fourth inning as BPC edged the Bulldogs, 1-0. Neveu (2-0) gave up five hits and walked one while striking out seven. Holland notched his first save of the season, pitching the seventh inning in relief. He walked two and struck out two.
“This was a battle for us,” Brant said. “We had guys on base but couldn’t bring them in. It was good to have a close game, though, after our win against Tennessee Temple.”
Despite a better offensive performance from the Barons in game two, Union exploded for nine runs in the final two innings en route to a 13-4 win. Kyle Smith went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Stanley was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Evans also went 2-for-4 and scored one run.
O’Toole pitched five innings giving up four runs (two earned) and five hits. He walked two and struck out two. Brian Stauff (0-1) pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief and gave up four runs (all earned) and two hits while walking three and striking out two.
“This game was a lot closer than the final score,” said Brant. “We were tied after five innings only to see it slip away in the sixth and seventh.”
The Barons now begin a five game road trip that begins at Southeastern University (Feb. 8) and includes a three game series against Clearwater Christian College (Feb. 9-10). The road trip ends with a game against Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Feb. 13. BPC then plays SCAD in Hinesville Feb. 20.
The team’s next home game on the Mount Vernon campus, which is also the conference opener, is a three game series against Auburn University-Montgomery Feb. 23-24.