Baseball Hawks split with Southeastern to open 2012 season
By Matt Green
LAKELAND, Fla. – Shorter University opened the 2012 season with a two-game split against Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks dropped the opener 5-3 before rebounding in Game 2 with a 10-4 victory.
In Game 1, Southeastern scored four runs in the third inning and got five solid innings from starter Justin Mauldin en route to a 5-3 victory over Shorter.
Willie Lewis hit a 2-run homer in the sixth for the Hawks, but his bomb was one of only four hits for Shorter.
Stephen Adkins surrendered five runs – four earned – and seven hits over his five innings in the loss. Adkins fanned three and walked only one, but two Shorter errors in the third proved too much for Adkins and the Hawks to overcome.
Neither team scratched until Southeastern's half of the third frame.
Bryan Muniz led off the inning with a single and scored three batters later when the Hawks couldn't handle William Glessner's infield grounder. Shane Casey followed with a 2-run single to left center and advanced to third on a wild throw. Kevin Kunnen capped the inning with an RBI single that scored Casey and put the hosts up 4-0.
Shorter's Kurtis Robinson led off the top of the fourth with a double and later scored on Mike Miranda's RBI groundout, but Shorter's only hit the rest of the way was Lewis' two-run shot. Muniz added some insurance for Southeastern with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth that stake the hosts a 5-1 advantage.
Mauldin lasted five innings for Southeastern and allowed one earned run on two hits. He struck out five.
Shorter's offense woke up in the second game to spur on a 10-4 win, thanks in large part to senior shortstop Dadynoel Lorenzo.
Lorenzo went 2-for-4 with four RBI and broke the game open with a three-run triple during Shorter's six-run fourth inning.
Shorter starter Devin Dunson, making his first career start for the Hawks, shook off a tough first inning and lasted 4.2 innings, scattering six hits and striking out four. The Fire loaded the bases in the first inning and drove across two runs to take a 2-0 lead with only one out, but Dunson forced Brandon DeRespiris to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Lorenzo put the Hawks on the board with an RBI single in the third and Miranda followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2, but the Hawks really exerted themselves with big fourth frame.
Shorter loaded the bags with no outs and took a 4-2 lead when Robinson was hit by a pitch and Muniz booted a ground ball. With the bases still loaded, Lorenzo then stepped up and stroked a bases-clearing triple to left center that put Shorter up 7-2. He later scored on a wild pitch as Shorter built a commanding 8-2 advantage.
Lewis tacked on an RBI single and Robinson an RBI sac fly in the fifth as Shorter salvaged the split with a strong Game 2 effort.
Stuart Charleston tossed 1.1 hitless innings in relief and Chad Hodges worked the seventh for the Hawks, who played error free baseball and totaled 11 hits in the win. Lewis was 3-for-3 with two runs and the RBI while McCullers and Bobby Triglia joined Lorenzo and Lewis with multiple hits.
Shorter continues its Florida road trip on Monday with a 12 pm matchup against Edward Waters College in Jacksonville.