BSC opens with win, Guilford stymies William Peace

Sam Roberts 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI in Birmingham-Southern's season opening win.
Birmingham-Southern athletics photo by Jimmy Mitchell

No. 6 Birmingham-Southern opened its 2017 season with a 3-1 road win over Methodist Friday afternoon. The Panthers put up two runs in the first inning and one in the eighth to secure the win. Ryan Gaines pitched six scoreless innings, striking out four, to earn the win. Easton Fuller picked up the first save of the season, striking out six in three innings of work. At the plate, Preston White (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School) went 3-for-3 on the day with one run. And Sam Roberts (Johns Creek, Ga./Blessed Trinity) was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.

LaGrange came from behind twice to beat Rhodes 7-6 at the Huntingdon Tournament. The win kept the Panthers perfect on the season, while spoiling the season opener for the Lynx. Chad Pigg's run-scoring single drove in the go-ahead run to cap a three-run eighth inning for the Panthers. Pigg had three hits and three RBIs in the game. On Wednesday La Grange defeated Berry 10-9 in another one run decision.

It was a miraculous comeback for the University of Dallas baseball team against Hendrix College. The Crusaders rallied back with four runs in the 9th thanks to a trio of errors in a row that helped earn a 5-4 victory in game one of the Rusty Greer & Jackie Moore Collegiate Classic.

Trinity (Texas) opened their title defense with a split on the day. The No. 7 Tigers dropped their opener 6-2 to Texas-Tyler. Trinity solved their offensive woes  in the second game, defeating Millsaps 11-5.

After three postponed games, the Linfield Wildcats got on the field and came away with a 2-1 win over No. 22 Cal Lutheran, Scott Hilpert was the offensive star with two singles and a triple. He drove in one and score another in the opening game for both teams.

Junior Montana Hammack went seven strong innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits and got great relief support from freshman Robert Baker and junior Payton Stanford as the Schreiner scratched out a 6-3 win over visiting Howard Payne. Schreiner pounded out 11 hits to six for Howard Payne.

Devin Cerrato leads Covenant in RBIs with six on the young season, having added two Friday afternoon.
Covenant athletics photo by Saundra Barker

Matt Reitz and Kyle Phillips combined to allow just four hits and Devin Cerrato hit a two-run home run to lead Covenant to a 7-2 win over Emory & Henry. The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Scots and gives them their first victory of the year. It was the season opener for Emory & Henry.

Southwestern scored five runs in the ninth inning to defeat Oglethorpe, 13-12, at the Firehouse Classic in the 2017 season opener. The Pirates trailed 12-8 in the bottom of the ninth. The Bucs loaded the bases and Thomas O'Brien drove in one with a single to right field. After a popout, Ben Little cleared the bases with a triple to right, which tied the game. After another Pirate was retired, Colby Schmidt delivered a walk-off single that plated Little. Southwestern collected 17 hits in the contest, but the Pirates also committed five errors in the field.

Sul Ross State pitcher, Peyton Marett posted his first win in the college ranks with three innings of relief as the Lobos defeated La Verne 14-11 Friday at the Cactus Classic. The two teams combined for 32 hits with 21 credited to Sul Ross. La Verne went on to split on the day with a 7-4 win over SCIAC rival Chapman.

George Fox was outscored 37-15 and comitted 8 errors as they dropped three games on Thursday and Friday in the Cactus Classic at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. In the opening games. La Verne scored 10 runs in the fourth enroute to a 15-7 win for the Leopards. Chapman started out in a 3-0 hole after one inning but chipped away and took a lead they would hold with a four run fifth. The Panthers finished the game with a 9-7 win and a 1-0 start to the season. Pomona-Pitzer was a 11-10 winner over Pacific Lutheran as the NWC ended Thursday to the SCIAC, 0-3. Redlands looked solid  on Friday against George Fox by registering 14 hits, including a double and a triple, en route to the 12-3 win.

Lynchburg fell behind 1-0 in the second inning but the Hornets scored seven unanswered runs to secure its first victory of the season Wednesday evening. Lynchburg was led by starting pitcher Zack Englemann who threw seven strong innings, striking out five Knights.
Lynchburg athletics photo

Christopher Newport carried a 6-4 lead into the final inning and the Captains looked poised to open 2017 with a nice road victory, but host Piedmont scored three runs to walk off with the 7-6 win. Andrew Burden delivered the game-winning blow with a single to end the game.

Guilford's John Todd threw seven three-hit shut-out innings as the Quakers claimed a victory over William Peace, 1-0, at the USA Baseball National Training Center. Todd held the Pacers without a hit in the first four innings of the contest as two of the Pacers' three hits came in the fifth inning where William Peace placed runners on first and second with two outs before Todd induced a fly out to end the inning. The senior gave up only one more hit in his final inning, but quickly shook off the lead-off hit as his infield turned a double play to quickly end the inning. Todd finished with four strike outs and a four walks in his first start of the season. Josh Shepherd and Trevor Denton closed the door on William Peace, holding the Pacers without a hit in the final two innings.

Seven Texas-Dallas hitters had multi-hit afternoons while the Comets pounded five Concordia Texas pitchers for 19 hits in a season-opening 19-3 win over the Tornados at The Ballpark in Grand Prairie. Returners Mitch Barati and Ryan Burciaga were joined by newcomers Thomas Craig and Luke Richter in collecting three hits each while Barati and Richter drove in three runs apiece. Junior starter Tristin DerMargosian collected the win in a five-inning start, but was overshadowed by reliever Jaime Andriot, who pitched four scoreless innings in relief to pick up the save.

The Louisiana Wildcats' started their season with fireworks as LC pounded out 22 hits over two games and picking up the a doubleheader sweep of Rust College.  LC took game one of the double dip 7-1 before running away with game two 18-0.