Armstrong takes the series but not the sweep
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 13:02
Armstrong (8-1) matched up with the Screaming Eagles from Southern Indiana over a three-game series at Pirate Field.
The Pirate-dominated series started in double-header play Feb. 17 due to the rainy forecast for the weekend.
During the first game of the double header, pitcher Ethan Bader took position on the mound for six innings. Bader allowed only one run and struck out nine at the plate.
The Pirates coasted to a 12-4 win in game one. A strong first and second inning gave the Pirates eight runs on the board. Cody Powell cleared the bases on his double during the second to secure the lead early in the match up.
Powell collected five RBIs and two hits, while Alex Frederick went 3-for-3 at the plate, racking up doubles and driving in four runs.
The Pirates did not lay off on the Screaming Eagles during the second game Feb. 17. Armstrong refused to retire the bats, notching another high scoring game 14-2.
A fourth-inning shutout, the Pirates sent 11 players to the plate earning seven runs.
Zach Taylor ended the fourth with a two-run homerun. On his next plate appearance in the fifth, Taylor extended the Pirates lead with his two-run triple.
During game two, Casey Maloney and John Roberts both scored two hits for the Pirates.
The Feb. 17 Pirate win increased Scott Strickland personal winning record to 3-0. Strickland worked from the mound for six-and-one-third innings, giving up seven hits, two runs and retiring two batters on strikes.
Eric Fowler made two appearances in the sweep. Fowler pitched three innings between both games, allowing only one hit and no runs.
"It's always easier to pitch with a lead and our hitters are doing a great job giving us run support right now," Fowler said.
The Pirates collected 26 runs in the double-header action and looked towards Saturday to continue their pursuit for the sweep.
The Pirates suffered their first loss of the season Feb. 18.
The Pirates fell behind early in the game (0-4) against the Screaming Eagles. Fighting their way back, Roberts scored the 150th RBI of his career in the third.
Powell delivered his first homerun as a Pirate during the sixth inning, knocking in two runs. Followed by a Taylor's single which tied the game, Roberts batted in Mike Barnhill, giving the Pirates a short-lived lead.
However, in the end, the Screaming Eagles were victorious over the Pirates with 11-7 score.
"Anytime you can take two out of three from a quality team like Southern Indiana, the weekend is a success," Fowler said. "We're at 8-1 right now, and it's been a team effort every game."
Chandler Hall took the lost for the Pirates for his six-and-two-thirds innings at work, giving up seven hits and seven runs, walking three and striking out five.
The Pirates will travel to Columbus State to begin Peach Belt Conference play Feb. 25 at Columbus, Ga.
"The Peach Belt is the toughest conference in Division II baseball, and Columbus always presents a challenge, but we have high expectations as a team and will be ready to go on Saturday," Fowler said.