Baseball Splits First Road Doubleheader at Johnson

Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Communication
Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Communication

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Owls baseball team split the day with the Johnson University Royals on Saturday, March 3. The W dropped one and grabbed one, falling 6-5 in game one but picking up game two 12-0.

GAME ONE (L, 6-5)
The Owls struggled to get the ball going in game one, finding themselves behind 6-1 after four innings. The W continued to battle to cut down Johnson's lead with four runs by the end of the 6th inning.

Leading the Owls at the plate, shortstop Heath Ford had a 3-for-4 appearance. Owls power hitters were Ford, Will Peters, and Damain Benefield who led the team with one RBI each.

At the plate, David Standifer took the loss on the mound. The sophomore right-hander pitched three innings for one strikeout, six hits against, and two earned runs.

Luke Hobson pitched for the Owls in the bottom of the fourth inning by Courtlan Frost took over pitching duties in the bottom of the fifth. He pitched 2.0 innings for two hits against, one walk, and one strikeout. 

Coach Wolf's Thoughts

 "It's always tough to travel 7 hours one day then have your game the following day delayed to the next and still keep a competitive mindset. You could tell in our first game today that we were a bit sluggish and we made some errors we don't usually make and our approach to the plate was not very good neither. I do like that we finally woke up and scratched some runs across the board but it wasn't enough to overcome our mistakes. I would like to say that freshman Courtlan Frost came in to finish the first game and did a great job for his first outing." 

GAME TWO (W, 12-0)

In the efforts, the Owls surpasses the Royals with hits 17-3, the Owls completed the game with a victory 12-0.

The Owls started on top leading the Royals 3-0 at the end of three. Johnson attempted to rally for a comeback but was unsuccessful. The Owls scored six runs in the seventh to seal the win.

RJ Dell grabbed his first win of the season the mound. He pitched for 6.0 innings, two strikeouts, three hits, and two walks.  Addison Baughman entered the game in relief to pitch 1.0 inning for three strikeouts, zero hits against, and zero earned runs. 

Damain Benefield led the Owls with three RBIs and Logan Suggs led the Owls at the plate with a 4-for-5 with one RBI.

Coach Wolf's Thoughts

 "I love how our guys responded the second game, I felt like we finally had a game where we played like we were capable of playing. We had a solid defense and our offense could not stay off the bases. RJ Dell did a phenomenal job on the mound giving us 6 innings of no run 3 hit ball. He was really good today. Our 1-9 did an amazing job at the plate and the guys we pinched hit had quality at-bats as well. As in game one, we brought another freshman Addison Baughman in to close. He did a great job as well, walking one and striking out three."

The Owls will be back home on Tuesday, March 5 to face Rust College. The first pitch of the doubleheader matchup is set for 4 p.m.