From William Carey University Sports Information Department
McKENZIE, Tenn. _ Shaking off a first-game no-hitter, William Carey University bounced back to win the nightcap of a doubleheader and its opening Southern States Athletic Conference baseball series at Bethel University this past weekend.
The sixth-ranked Crusaders (16-4, 2-1 SSAC) won Friday’s opening game 2-1.
In Saturday’s opener, Wildcats pitcher Brady Jones walked three and hit a Crusader, but those were the only baserunners Carey managed in the game. Second baseman Marcus Buckley, who walked and stole second base to lead off the game, was the only Crusader who reached scoring position against Jones.
Jones struck out 11.
Carey starter Cole Edgens took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Carey bounced back in the second game, taking a 10-4 victory to clinch the series.
The Crusaders took an immediate 3-0 lead off Bethel pitcher John Michael Spoon. Shortstop Wes Brown came through with a run-scoring double before a misplayed fly ball into shallow left field scored two more Carey runs.
Bethel (5-8, 1-2) cut the lead to 3-1 in the third inning, but Carey tacked on three runs in the fourth for a 6-1 advantage. After the Wildcats pushed across a run in the bottom of that inning, Carey added two runs in each of the fifth and seventh innings for a 10-2 lead.
Carey right fielder Tyler Reid collected a double and two singles and scored four runs. Brown, catcher J.T. Wright and third baseman Tyler Evans had two hits apiece, with Wright and Evans each doubling.
Carey starter Conner McWilliams allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, striking out five. Reliever Devin Smith picked up the pitching win, allowing two runs on three hits over the final five innings. Smith walked two and struck out six.
Spoon gave up three runs on four hits in three innings, striking out two.
The Crusaders will host Middle Georgia State University this weekend in Carey’s opening SSAC home series. Friday’s game at Milton Wheeler Field is set for 6 p.m., with Saturday’s doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
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