The Spring Hill College baseball team won both ends of a conference doubleheader against the 21st-ranked Southern Polytechnic State University Runnin' Hornets by the scores of 3-2 and 4-3 with both games being decided by the games' final pitches.
In the first game, the Hornets (20-11, 9-6 SSAC) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning off a run-scoring single to centerfield by 3rd baseman Jon White. The Badgers responded with two runs in the bottom half of the frame when catcher Ryan Stevens drove in a tying run with a double to deep left-center that was followed by left fielder Kendell Carvin's RBI single to left to give SHC an early 2-1 lead.
From there, the game became a classic pitching duel between SHC starter Casey Adams and SPSU reliever Kevin Bibler with the next four innings going scoreless for both offenses.
Adams surrendered the tying run with two outs in the top of the 6th inning when Hornet 1st baseman Kendall Wehrle lifted a double into deep right-center and was then driven home in the next at-bat when designated hitter Devin Thaut's shot up the middle nicked off the top of a leaping Adams' glove and found its way into centerfield.
The Badgers won the game in the 7th inning when a 1st baseman John Hollingsworth ripped a double down the left field line and moved to third when designated hitter Rick LaForce drove a line drive back up the middle that Bibler knocked down to shortstop Trey Malone, but Malone's throw to 3rd base was not in time to catch Hollingsworth. Third baseman Justin Martin then ended the game with a sacrifice fly to shallow right that was just deep enough to score a sliding Hollingsworth with the winning run.
Adams (3-2) went the distance and allowed just five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Bibler (0-1), who was perfect in his first four innings of work, went 4.1 innings and allowed just one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.
The nightcap was just as thrilling for Badger fans as Spring Hill took a 3-1 lead after the first three innings of play, but then saw SPSU rally for two runs in the top of the 7th inning off SHC starter Nick Schmiemeier when 2nd baseman Josue Quinones and left fielder Jordan Williams brought in runs with singles, but reliever Jeff Keenum came in to stop the bleeding with a line out to 3rd base and a fly ball to center.
The game went to the 10th inning where Badger closer Keller Douglas set the Hornets down in order and Martin, who had reached 1st base on an error by Wehrle, was standing on 3rd with one out and pinch hitter Robert Boudreaux at the plate. Boudreaux would swing and miss a third strike, but the ball skipped away on a wild pitch that kept the at-bat alive and as Boudreaux scampered down to 1st base, Martin came barreling home with the winning run sliding past the tag attempt.
Douglas (1-0) took home his first win of the year in three innings with no hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Brandon Barnette (2-3) took the loss in one full inning with no hits, a walk, two strikeouts and three wild pitches.
Schmiemeier went 6.1 strong innings in the start and allowed five hits, five walks and five strikeouts. Starter Josh Means of SPSU lasted 5.2 innings and gave up six hits, four walks and recorded six strikeouts.
At the plate, Hollingsworth had two hits and two RBI on the day for Spring Hill while Stevens and Carvin also had a pair of Badger hits each.
Thaut had three hits and two RBI for the Hornets and White and Williams each had two hits with an RBI.
Spring Hill (13-14, 5-10 SSAC) and will next host Arkansas Tech (11-14) in a non-conference game on Monday at 4 p.m. at Stan Galle Field.