HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The sixth-ranked William Carey University baseball team put up an eight-run third inning and then held off Lindsey Wilson College for an 8-7 victory Friday afternoon at Milton Wheeler Field.
The Crusaders (5-1) and Blue Raiders (3-3) had split a Thursday doubleheader. The Crusaders scored the winning run in the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory in Thursday's opener before the visitors from Columbia, Ky., blanked Carey 7-0 in the nightcap to hand the Crusaders their first loss of the season.
The series originally had been scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but expected inclement weather this weekend bumped the games up a day.
Friday, the Crusaders fell behind 1-0 before raking the Blue Raiders for eight runs in the third. Lindsey Wilson scored two runs in the fourth, crept closer with a run in the eighth and then scored three times in the ninth on two sacrifice flies and an error before closer Lake Robertson stranded the potential, game-tying run at first base.
Hunter Speer picked up the pitching win, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three. Robertson walked one but did not allow a hit in recording the save.
Lindsey Wilson starter Dalton Hill took the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.
The Crusaders finished with 11 hits. Second baseman Marcus Buckley had three hits and a stolen base, while right fielder Spencer Cayten, center fielder Christian Smith and catcher J.T. Wright each had a pair of hits. First baseman David Pimentel drove in two runs for the Crusaders.
The Blue Raiders collected nine hits, including a double and single by right fielder Steven Calderon. First baseman Oliver Baez and third baseman Tyler Maskell had two hits each.
The Crusaders will remain at home next weekend, hosting 20th-ranked Campbellsville University and Webber International University on Feb. 16-17 in a round-robin event at Milton Wheeler Field.