Miranda hits 2 HR as Shorter sweeps Reinhardt in doubleheader
By Matt Green
ROME – The Shorter University baseball team scored a two-game sweep of visiting Reinhardt University on Tuesday afternoon at the Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex. Shorter won the games 9-2 and 13-0.
In Game 1, Mike Miranda belted his first homer of the season and Shorter cruised to a 9-2 win.
Antonio Walcott went 3-for-4 and scored three runs for the Hawks, who pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of five Reinhardt errors.
Shorter (10-5) used sacrifice flies from Blake McCullers and Bobby Triglia to take a 2-0 lead in the first then got an RBI groundout from Cal Hardie and an RBI single from Dadynoel Lorenzo to go up 4-1 in the second.
Reinhardt's Phillip Bates scored on a wild pitch from Shorter starter Ben Stell to pull the Eagles within 4-2 in the fourth, but Miranda led off the Shorter half of the inning with a towering shot over the left field fence to put the Hawks back up by three runs.
A three-run sixth for Shorter powered by Triglia's two-run double to left center made the score 9-2 and Chad Hodges worked a perfect seventh with the help of a three-pitch strike out to end the game.
Willie Lewis, Shorter's leading hitter, went 2-for-3 with a walk in Game 1. Stell gave the Hawks four innings in his first career start and earned the win after he surrendered two earned runs on three hits while fanning two.
In Game 2, Miranda homered again and totaled three RBI and Adam Thurman allowed just two hits and struck out three in his first start of the season as Shorter rolled 13-0.
The Hawks scored five runs – all with two outs – and batted around in the first to take command of the game early. Lewis and Hardie hit two-run singles and Miranda scored on a wild pitch as the Hawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead and chased Reinhardt starter Cory Cox after just 0.2 innings.
Kendall Lacey singled home Miranda in the third for a 6-0 Shorter lead and after Triglia hit a sacrifice fly to put the Hawks up 7-0 in the fourth, Miranda stroked his second homer of the day, this one a two-run shot to left center that staked Shorter a 9-0 lead.
Lorenzo and McCullers added RBI singles in Shorter's four-run fifth as the Hawks racked up 12 hits in the nightcap and played error-free ball in the field.
Reinhardt (3-8) managed just three hits against Shorter's staff in Game 2. Thurman got the win on the mound in his four innings of work and the trio of Matt Kirksey, Hunter Smith and McCullers combined to allow just one hit over the game's final three innings.
Lacey finished 3-for-4 with an RBI in Game 2 and Lorenzo also tallied two hits.
The Hawks return to Southern States Athletic Conference action this weekend as they head to New Orleans, La., for a three-game series with Loyola University New Orleans.