The Spring Hill College baseball opened the 2014 season with a non-conference doubleheader split versus Martin Methodist College taking the first game by the score of 9-6 before falling in the nightcap in extra innings 9-5 on Friday evening at historic Stan Galle Field.
In the first game, the Badgers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning only to see the RedHawks (1-1) answer with a run in the 3rd inning and a five-run 4th frame highlighted by center fielder Clint Gobbell's two-out Grand Slam to right field that gave MMC a 6-3 lead.
SHC responded by putting four runs on the board in the bottom of the 4th inning aided by two RedHawk infield errors. The Badgers added two more tallies in the 6th inning with a sacrifice fly by junior Kyle Freeman and a run-scoring to right by senior Brooks Bobinger.
The second game saw MMC take a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning with SHC taking a 3-2 lead off a three-run 4th inning that featured a two-out rally capped by a two-run single to center by senior Brian Sims that was followed by an RBI single by sophomore Willie Floros. The RedHawks retook the lead in the 6th inning with a sacrifice fly to center by Ryan Jett and an RBI-double to the gap in left-center by Blake Truett.
SHC tied the game in the bottom of the 6th when senior Mykol Sostarich laced a double down the left field line to bring in junior Andy Robbins. Martin Methodist responded in the 7th with run by Gobbell off a wild pitch, but Spring Hill once again answered in the bottom of the inning when Freeman's single to left center got past Gobbell and brought around pinch runner Michael Ball to knot the game at 5 runs apiece.
The Badger engine ran dry in the 9th inning, however, as the RedHawks scored four runs off three hits, two walks and two hit batters.
Junior Brady Hitt (1-0) was the winner in relief for SHC in the first game going 2.1 innings and allowing no hits with two walks. Junior closer Keller Douglas earned his first save of the year with a full inning of work that included two strikes, a walk and no hits. Starter Thomas Huddleston (0-1) took the loss for MMC in 4.2 innings with seven hits allowed, a walk and one strikeout.
Sophomore Garrett Webb (0-1) accepted the relief loss for the Badgers in two innings with three hits, two walks and a strikeout. Owen Blackwelder (1-0) was the winner in three innings of relief with three hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
Offensively, Sims enjoyed an incredible 6-for-8 day at the plate with four RBI while freshman designated hitter Austyn Jacques and Bobinger both collected three hits and an RBI. Floros, Sostarich and junior catcher Roy Moulder each had a pair of hits for the Badger cause.
The Badgers (1-1) next host the University of Rio Grande (Ohio) in a non-conference doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. on Stan Galle Field.