CENTRAL – Southern Wesleyan dropped both games in a doubleheader with Montreat on Saturday, losing the series in the process after losses of 4-1 and 6-5 to the Cavaliers.
The Warriors (6-8) couldn’t come up with big hits after getting runners on base in both games, stranding 17 runners on base in the two games.
The three-game set concludes the season-opening 14-game home stand as the Warriors will hit the road on Tuesday for the first time, playing at Young Harris.
Montreat scored a pair of runs in each of the third and sixth innings as the Warriors left nine men on base in a 4-1 Cavalier victory. SWU starter Matt Craig picked up his first loss of the season, allowing four runs, three earned and walking three. He struck out two and gave up five hits, but got little from his offense.
The Warriors collected six hits but left two runners on in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings. SWU struggled to come up with clutch hits in the game. The Warriors did get on the board in the fifth, as J.J. Julian brought home Matt Arant with a single to center. That brought the Montreat lead down to 2-1.
The Cavaliers responded with two runs in the sixth as Craig walked in a run and gave up a sacrifice fly. The first two batters reached in the bottom of the sixth for SWU as Daniel Williams collected his third hit of the game. After Julio Lara walked the Cavaliers brought in Taylor Cornelius from the bullpen and he retired the next three batters in order. Cornelius allowed just one runner in picking up the save.
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead, scoring a run in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead. Julian singled in the first run in the first inning and the second run came home on a balk in the second.
The Warriors continued their scoring with another run in the third and two in the fourth but Montreat was also able to put up some crooked numbers, scoring once in the third and three in the fourth. The Cavaliers took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth.
An error in the fourth led to all three of those runs being unearned. Starter Matt Buss allowed five of the six runs but just one was earned. Buss worked four plus innings after being pulled after a lead-off walk in the fifth. He allowed just four hits but walked three. Tim O’Callaghan made his first relief appearance of the season and took the loss in two-thirds innings of work.
Mike Hyman and J.J. Julian each had two hits in the game as Julian picked up a pair of RBI. Hyman stole another base to give him six in the three-game series. Julian also walked twice in the game.
In other action last week
A late rally was not in the cards for the Warriors last Tuesday afternoon as Southern Wesleyan fell to Milligan 5-2 on the diamond.
This time it was the visitors that put up a crooked number in the final inning, to give them some breathing room after carrying just a 2-1 lead into the ninth. A single and an error put two runners in scoring position to start the inning for the Buffaloes (3-2). After a strikeout and intentional walk loaded the bases, a balk called on Andrew Howard brought in the first run. A single by Ernesto Fernandez scored two more and gave Milligan a pair of insurance runs.
The next day it was a slugfest on the diamond last Wednesday evening and unfortunately for the Warriors they dropped their second straight, 12-8 to Young Harris. SWU has never beaten the Mountain Lions in seven meetings.
The Warriors continued to score runs early, putting up five in the bottom of the first inning and have now score 17 times in the opening frame. Unlike the other 10 games this season SWU allowed runs in the first, giving up three to YHC as J.J. Julian made his first start on the mound this season.
Southern Wesleyan got back into the win column Friday with a dominating 9-3 victory over Montreat in the first game of a three-game set on Friday.
The Warriors took advantage of early mistakes by the Cavaliers, turning five errors in the first two innings into seven runs. SWU (6-6) also collected six hits during those innings. Zack Oberlies knocked home a run in the first with a single after a groundout and an error brought home the first two runs. Mike Hyman and Tyler Bice set the table with a single and a walk to get things started.