Lee baseball opens with doubleheader sweep
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (LEE) -- The Lee University baseball team opened the 2012 season with a doubleheader sweep over Talladega College, 14-2 and 4-1, on Friday.
The two squads will conclude the weekend series with a single game on Saturday, beginning at noon.
In Friday's first game, the Flames fell behind, 1-0, in the second inning on an unearned run scored off Lee starting pitcher, Kris Hall. The Talladega lead did not last long, however, as the Flames scored four runs over the next three innings to take the 4-1 lead.
After a single run for the Tornadoes in the top of the fifth inning, the Flames exploded for 10 runs in bottom half of the inning, running the score to the eventual final of 14-2.
Hall (1-0), who is transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation for 2012, worked five innings total, allowed two unearned runs on five hits. The junior struck out seven Talladega hitters without allowing a walk. Vince Spilker came on to work perfect sixth and seventh innings, striking out four.
The Flames (2-0) knocked out 16 hits in the first contest, getting three-hit performances from Brady Renner, Blake Barber, and Mike Moore. The trio combined for five runs scored and three runs batted in. Roberto Reyes (2-for-4) and Chris Avey (1-for-4) each doubled in the contest and had three runs batted in.
Five different Talladega (0-2) players registered a hit in the game, with Aldris Castillo registering the only extra base hit with a double. Four different pitchers combined to complete six innings, allowing 12 earned runs. Rodrekius Wright started and was credited with the loss, allowing three runs in two innings of work.
The Flames could not put together a big inning in Friday's second contest, but were able to score a single run in four separate frames in earning the 4-1 win.
"The first game was really identical to the second game, with the exception of getting things going in that one inning (10-run fifth in game one)," said Lee head coach Mark Brew.
"We have to do a better job of our situational hitting, especially with runners in scoring position." Lee left 21 runners on base between the two games combined.
Patrick Merkling started on the mound for the Flames in game two, working four innings to earn his first win in a Lee uniform. The junior lefty allowed one run on three hits, while striking out five and walking three. After James Rechenbach worked a scoreless inning and two-thirds, Joe Fabre came on to earn his first save of 2012, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
"I thought the pitching was the best part of our game all day today," added Brew. "Everybody did a good job, we struck out 18 and only had three walks total between the two games."
Barber once again led the Flames offensively, earning two hits in three official plate appearances, including two doubles, a walk, and one run scored. Corey Davis also tallied two hits, one of them a double, and drove in one of the Flames' three RBI.
Catcher Jorge Saez began his Lee career with a bang, drilling a solo home run over the left-center field fence. Renner earned the only other Lee RBI in the second contest, reaching base three times with a hit and two walks.
Talladega once again earned five hits in the nightcap, each by a different player. Matt Collier knocked in the lone Tornado run. Logan Holmes was credited with the loss, after working 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, all of them earned, on five hits.
The Flames committed just one error between the two contests combined, while Talladega was charged with two. The Tornadoes stranded a total of 13 runners in the doubleheader.
Information provided by Lee University Sports Information and GoLeeFlames.com.