Posted: Saturday, March 22nd 2014 at 8:55pm
Graham, Davidson lead Piedmont past Huntingdon
By staff reports
DEMOREST -- The Piedmont College baseball team has now taken two of the first three in a weekend series with USA South leader Huntingdon College as the Lions posted a 9-3 win in Game 2 earlier Saturday.
PC held a 6-0 lead through six innings as the Hawks struggled against freshman starter Preston Graham while the offense held up for the Lions in the Saturday win to put pressure on HC in the Sunday afternoon contest to avoid the sweep.
Graham went six strong innings as he allowed just five hits and shut out the Hawks while on the mound, a team that has scored the 4th most runs in all the USA South. Graham struck out a half dozen issuing just two walks as well moving his record to 4-3 on the season with the win as the lefty put himself in consideration for Rookie Pitcher of the Week in the league with his Saturday afternoon performance.
The two teams would be scoreless through two and a half as Piedmont headed to the bottom of the third looking for a spark, one which they would get as Will Skidmore legged out an infield single with one out in the inning to put a runner aboard. Keith Grabowski followed up his teammate's lead drawing a walk to put two on with still just one out as the Lions threatened early.
Bailey's two-out, 2-RBI triple would stand as the only scores in a tight ballgame until the Lions blew it wide open in the fifth with a four-spot as Skidmore this time led the inning off with a triple of his own. Grabowski singled in his teammate on the next at-bat and would later be sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt from Olson as the Lions executed well at the plate on the afternoon.
After Josh Bailey walked to put a pair on, Michael Barnes singled through the right side to score both Bailey and Grabowski making the margin now 5-0 PC as the home team put the pressure square on the Hawks who came into the weekend with just one loss in 12 conference games. Already having dropped a game to PC on Friday night to begin the series, PC saw Daniel Lindsey exploit the hole in the right side again as he singled in a run to put Piedmont up a half dozen after six innings.
Up 6-0 and putting the ball in reliever Matt Stephens' hand, Piedmont would give up three runs to HC in the top of the 7th as a Gunnar Peters double put the Hawks down 6-3 slicing the deficit in half.
However, the Lions would respond after the stretch at Loudermilk as a double by the DH Brad Stinson helped Evan Gresham score to make it 7-3 PC as the home team answered with a big run to slow the visitors' momentum. After Josh Thomas threw a scoreless 8th for PC, the Lions would have another chance to add to the lead, doing so in a big way in the home half of the inning as a two-out Josh Bailey single kept the inning alive for the big hitting first baseman for PC, Breck Davidson.
Eerily enough, last night's ballgame had a similar situation in the 8th inning as Bailey drew a one-out walk and stood on first with Davidson coming up to the plate. Davidson took a Huntingdon pitch over the fence in left center in that situation as his two-run homer with Bailey on first tied the game up at 11 a piece on Friday night and sparked a 9-run 8th inning that handed PC an 18-11 victory in the opener.
This time coming to the plate with a four-run lead in hand, Davidson again saw his teammate Bailey on first and gave the fans déjà vu as he tattooed the first pitch he saw in the at-bat drilling a Hawk offering over the fence in left again setting ablaze the fans atop the hill in front of Purcell Hall. Davidson's two run homer is his second such blast in as many days and games as has now three on the season, tying him for the lead in that category amongst all USA South hitters.
That two-run shot in the 8th deflated any chance of a Huntingdon rally as Thomas finished out his two and a third on the mound sealing a 9-3 win at home for PC in the friendly confines at Loudermilk.
The Lions were led at the plate by six different players who each had a pair of hits as the group was highlighted by Josh Bailey's 2-for-4 day with two runs scored, two RBIs and a walk as he pushes his nation-leading walk total to 22 on the season. Evan Gresham also picked up two hits and scored two runs as he is now 7-for-11 in the series with five runs scored and two RBIs. Davidson made his only hit count going one for four with two runs driven in and a run scored while also drawing a walk.
Piedmont moves to 14-6 overall and improves to 7-4 in league play with the win as the Lions now will look for the sweep with a win at home tomorrow afternoon as they host the Hawks for the finale of the three-game series.
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