Barons earn split of home-opening doubleheader

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. -- Brewton-Parker College baseball coach Chad Parker said the Barons' home-opening split of a doubleheader with Claflin University (S.C.) was evident of the Barons' youth.

Brewton-Parker left 16 base runners stranded in the two games, with Claflin taking a 3-2 win in the first game after forcing extra innings and the Barons winning the nightcap 6-1.

The games were part of the Brewton-Parker Invitational, which includes three more games for the Barons: Thursday at 7 p.m. against Edward Waters College (Fla.) and a Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m. against Lambuth University (Tenn.).

Junior right-hander Brent Kennedy (2-0) threw six innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts and one unearned run in the second game, which senior right-hander Ashley Hooks completed with a two-strikeout, no-hit seventh inning.

Senior Denson Gleaton and junior Jason Halstead had two hits apiece for all four Brewton-Parker hits. Both Gleaton and Halstead had run-scoring singles in the Barons' four-run fifth inning, which completed the game's scoring.

Brewton-Parker followed Claflin's first-inning run with a score in each of the first two innings.

"It's still early in the season and we have to execute with people in scoring position," said Parker, noting that the Barons still left the bases loaded after the four-run rally and seven for the game.

"We're still young and we're learning how to win. The team that executes is going to win, no matter who you play."

The Barons led the first game 2-0 before the Panthers scored twice in the sixth inning. The game lasted until the ninth inning, when Claflin scored off a leadoff walk by sophomore right-hander Andrew Gernatt (0-1), who took the loss after throwing four innings of relief.

Sophomore Jonathan Davis singled in the third inning and scored the Barons' first run, then freshman Madison Herrin's solo home run in the fourth inning gave sophomore left-hander Trae Wiggins a 2-0 lead while he threw four no-hit innings.

Wiggins struck out three Claflin batters and walked two but forced out both runners with double plays. Freshman right-hander Brandon Whitener threw one inning-plus of no-hit relief into the sixth, when the Panthers tied the game after an error and single.

"In the first game we didn't execute and in the second game we did," Parker said.

Saturday's games against Lambuth originally were scheduled for Liberty County High School in Hinesville, but field conditions there forced the doubleheader moved to Brewton-Parker's home field.

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Brewton-Parker College junior Eric Prevatt slides into second base for the first of his two stolen bases in the second inning of the Barons' home-opening game Wednesday against Claflin University (S.C.) at the Brewton-Parker baseball on the campus in Mount Vernon. (Photo by Charles Conkin)