Baseball Stuns Stillman in 26-6 Victory

Will Peters in right-field against Lane; Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Relations
Will Peters in right-field against Lane; Photo Credit: Chris Jenkins, University Relations

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Headlined by a season-high 19 hits and 26 runs, the Owls baseball team (9-3) surpassed Stillman College, 26-6, Wednesday afternoon in a 7-inning mercy rule game.

The Owls started right-hander Drew Williams on the mound for the first two innings of the competition who struggled to issue one strikeout, one walk, five hits against, and four earned runs.

Junior RJ Dell took over pitching duties for the Owls in the third innings for six hits against and two earned runs. The transfer from Memphis, Tenn. claimed his fourth win on the mound to improve to 4-0 this season.

Eiland Clecker took over in the seventh to pitch the final inning. During his time on the mound, he recorded one strikeout and one hit against.

The Owls offense got going in the top of the second. A leadoff error by the Stillman shortstop and a single by Will Peters and Reese Wagner created a bases-loaded situation for the Tiger defense.

On the next at-bat, Leon "Trey" Petite singled through the right side to bring in the first run of the frame with no outs. Heath Ford then hit into a fielder's choice that brought another run across the plate. Luke Murphy added to the Owls lead with single up the middle that scored another run and gave the Owls a 3-0 advantage.

Following Murphy's single a swinging strikeout gave The W its first out of the inning but still with bases loaded a walk by Damain Benefield, Brandon Jones, and Zack Dees brought in three additional runs.

Before the end of the inning, Will Peters pulled in a triple down the right-field line for three runs scored. Petite roped in another single to bring in Peters from third and Ford, Murphy, and Cody Brewington each hit a single to bring a man home to boost the Owls lead to 13-0.

Murphy closed out the frame with a run on a wild pitch to end The W's side of the inning with a 14-0 lead.

Stillman made it to the board in the bottom of the second after a fielder's choice, two singles, and a walk brought in four runs for the Tigers to cut the Owls lead to 14-4.

The top of the fourth opened with a throwing error by Stillman's third baseman and an advance to second and a single and stolen base by Damain Benefield to put runners on second and third base for the Owls.

Jones singled to left field for an RBI followed by another single to left by Peters to bring in an additional run.

With runners on every base, Reese Wagner singled through the left side to give the Owls a 17-4 lead through four.

The W added three runs in the fifth on a single to the pitcher from Jones and bases-loaded walks by Peters and Wagner.

Stillman answered in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly to trail the Owls 20-5.

In the sixth, Austin Woodall earned an RBI on a bases loaded walk and Kyle Brown singled to right field for two RBIs to bring the Owls lead to 23-5.

The Tigers scored their last run of the outing in the bottom of the inning with another sacrifice fly while the Owls wrapped up the scoring effort in the top of the seventh.

Johndavid Birdsong doubled to left field to bring a man home. Benefield doubled to bring Birdsong home and Benefield scored on an error by the right fielder for a 26-6 final score.  

The impressive offensive performance was highlighted by Peters who went 3-for-5 with a triple and five RBIs, Jones who added a stat line of 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Wagner who went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.

"I'm really proud of our guys today. We were outstanding offensively. We were great 1-9, and then guys off the bench swung it well too, said head coach, Matthew Wolfenbarger. "I'm really proud of how clean we were defensively as well. It was good to see several guys play well today coming off of a long break."

The Owls will be back on the field on Tuesday, March 26 when they face Blue Mountain. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12 p.m.